State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Governor approves delay for Keystone Exams

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Feb 3, 2016 3:17 PM
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The Keystone Exams are officially on the backburner.

Governor Tom Wolf on Wednesday signed into law a plan to delay the controversial high school requirement for Pennsylvania students.

The tests in algebra, biology, and literature were created starting back in 2009.

They were intended to show colleges and employers that a Pennsylvania high school diploma is backed up by high academic standards. But critics say some schools didn't have the resources to prepare students for exams, re-dos, and cumbersome alternative assessments.

Wolf called the tests "flawed" and pointed to the Legislature's unanimous support for postponing the graduation requirement.

Khalid Mumin, superintendent of Reading School District, said the implementation of the Keystones forced schools to change direction like speedboats when they're more akin to cruise ships.

"Pennsylvania is magnificent in diversity in the way the school districts look," said Mumin. "To get those systems to move at the same time is extremely difficult."

The state Department of Education doesn't have a firm timetable for reestablishing some kind of test. The agency has six months to recommend an alternative to the Keystone Exams.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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