• Act 158 of 2018 (Act 158) provides alternatives to Pennsylvania’s statewide requirement of attaining proficiency on the three end-of-course Keystone Exams (Algebra I, Literature, and Biology) in order for a student to achieve statewide graduation requirements. This toolkit is designed to provide guidance as a result of the enactments of Act 158 and Act 6 of 2017 (Act 6), which established alternative pathways to meeting statewide graduation requirements for students who are Career and Technical Education (CTE) concentrators.

    Effective with the graduating class of 20231, students have the option to demonstrate postsecondary preparedness through one of four additional pathways that more fully illustrate college, career, and community readiness.

    Keystone Exams will continue as the statewide assessment Pennsylvania uses to comply with accountability requirements set forth in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Although students will no longer be required to achieve proficiency on the Keystone Exams in order to meet statewide graduation requirements, students must take the Keystone Exams for purposes of federal accountability. Failure to do so will affect a Local Education Agency (LEA) and school’s participation rate.

    LEAs are encouraged to work with their solicitors to ensure that their local high school graduation policies comply with Act 6 and Act 158, which amended Section 121 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code (24 P.S. § 1-121) and affected the implementation of Title 22, Chapter 4 of the Pennsylvania Code.

    1Pa Act 136 of 2020 delayed implementation of Act 158 requirements, now effective with the graduating class of 2023.

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