SB1095: Graduation Requirements



This legislation aims to establish a more thoughtful approach to high-stakes testing and graduation requirements.

This legislation will not reinstate the the Keystone Exam graduation requirement. However, in any school year in which proficiency on Keystone Exams is required for high school graduation, this bill will provide students with several alternative pathways to demonstrate postsecondary readiness.

In any school year in which a demonstration of proficiency on a Keystone Exam is required for high school graduation, this proposal would provide for the four options detailed later in this summary.



Proposed language would override certain sections of the regulations related to supplemental instruction (i.e. remediation).

  • Supplemental instruction related to their performance on the Keystone Exams should continue to be offered to students, but not required.
  • Language prohibits a public school entity from requiring a student to participate in supplemental instruction. Instead, a student shall consult with the person assigned to oversee the development of the student’s career portfolio to consider all possible pathways to graduation (including supplemental instruction and re-taking a Keystone as ONE option). A student’s proximity to proficiency shall be considered as part of this consultation.
  • For students who accept the offer of supplemental instruction:
    • For all students: supplemental instruction shall be designed to ensure students can participate in both supplemental instruction and regular instruction related to their career portfolios.
    • CTE students: supplemental instruction shall not occur during dedicated instructional time in a CTE program of study.


Project-Based Assessments (PBAs)

Proposed language eliminates the requirement for PBAs.


Portfolio Development

Proposed language provides that a student and the designated administrator of the portfolios shall develop the student’s portfolio throughout the students’ academic career. The language further provides that public school entities shall develop policies and procedures for the development of portfolios consistent with PDE guidance.


Option 1: Composite Score on Keystone Assessments

  • A student meets or exceeds a state-specified composite score across all three Keystone Exams; and
  • Performance in all three content areas is at least basic.

Note: Proposed new language does not enshrine into law Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement. Rather, the propsoed language reads "...when they are required for graduation."


Option 2: Local Grade Requirements + Alternative Assessments or Apprenticeships

  • A student meets or exceeds locally established grade-based requirements in the associated academic content areas of the Keystone Exams; and
  • One of the following:
    • AP/IB exam in Keystone content areas (score set by PDE)
    • ASVAB
    • Registered apprenticeship
    • Career Readiness Certificate (ACT WorkKeys)


Option 3: CTE Concentrators Local Grade Requirements + Additional CTE Evidence of Readiness

  • Act 6 of 2017

Note: Proposed language clarifies existing law and who determines students' likelihood of success and when that determination must be made to allow CTE concentrators sufficient time to explore alternative pathways if needed.


Option 4: Local Grade Requirements + Additional Evidence of Readiness

  • A student meets or exceeds locally established grade-based requirements in the associated academic content areas of the Keystone Exams; and
  • Presents at least 3 pieces of evidence that reflect the student's readiness for graduation. Evidence must be tied to a student's career portfolio which is required for every student under PDE's approved ESSA state plan.
    • Evidence may include, but shall not be limited to: 
      • Dual enrollment or postsecondary course;
      • Any AP/IB;
      • Admission to an accredited nonprofit institution of higher education;
      • Full-time employment;
      • Industry recognized credential;
      • Successful completion of internship, externship, or co-op;
      • Subject specific ACT or SAT; and
      • NCAA course



    McGarrigle, Killion, Tomlinson, White, Vogel, Scavello, Mensch, Baker, Aument, Brewster, Bartolotta, and Boscola



    • Referred to EDUCATION, April 6, 2018
    • Reported as amended, June 13, 2018
    • First consideration, June 13, 2018
    • Second consideration, with amendments, June 19, 2018
    • Re-referred to APPROPRIATIONS, June 19, 2018
    • Re-reported as committed, June 21, 2018