(Harrisburg) -- A state panel has approved regulations that set tougher standards for Pennsylvania students in order to graduate from high school.
Today's 3-2 vote by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission represents near-final approval for what's called the Pennsylvania Core Standards and assessments associated with the standards, including Pennsylvania's Keystone Exams for high-school students.
The standards still require a legal review from the state attorney general's office.
Students in the class of 2017, current high-school freshmen, will be the first to have to demonstrate their understanding of literature, biology and algebra in order to get a diploma under the new standards.
Joan Benso of the nonprofit Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children says the regulations will ensure students are academically prepared for 21st century careers.
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