By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item
— HARRISBURG – The State Board of Education today voted to adopt final-form regulations to amend the Pennsylvania Education Code, putting into place the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards that requires students to demonstrate proficiency on a Keystone Exam or comparable exam in order to graduate high school.
The new regulations require the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards in English language, arts and mathematics must be implemented in all public schools across the state by July 1.
Similar to the nationwide Common Core State Standards initiative, which is under way in 45 states, Pennsylvania tailored these standards to meet the needs of its students and adopted its own assessments.
The board also adopted the final implementation schedule for the Keystone Exams, which are rigorous, end-of-course assessments designed to ensure a student’s mastery of specific academic content. These exams are required to graduate from a Pennsylvania high school.
Beginning with the class of 2017, this year’s eight-grade class, students will be required to pass three Keystone Exams – algebra I, biology and literature or a comparable assessment to obtain a high school diploma.
The class of 2019, this year’s sixth-grade class, will be required to pass four Keystone Exams – algebra I, biology, literature and composition.
The class of 2020, this year’s fifth-grade class, and beyond will be required to pass five Keystone Exams – algebra I, biology, literature, composition, and civics and government.
The composition and civics and government exams are subject to available state funding for development and implementation of each assessment.
More details about the announcement will appear in Friday's edition of the Daily Item. Follow Evamarie Socha on Twitter: @ecsocha