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     Pennsylvania Graduation Requirements-Act 158
    More information can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's website.
     
     
    Background-Act 158 of 2018 (Act 158), which was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on October 24, 2018, shifts Pennsylvania’s reliance on high stakes testing as a graduation requirement to provide alternatives for high school students to demonstrate readiness for postsecondary success. Formerly, Pennsylvania’s statewide graduation requirement was more restrictive, requiring most students to pass the Keystone Exams — end of course exams in Algebra I, Literature, and Biology — in order to graduate. Act 158, in conjunction with Act 6 of 2017 (Act 6), expands the options for students to demonstrate postsecondary readiness through four additional pathways that more fully illustrate college, career, and community readiness.

    Students graduating in 2023 and beyond, the following five options exist to meet the statewide graduation requirement:

    In accordance with Pennsylvania’s Act 136 of 2020, beginning with the graduating class of 2023, students must meet statewide graduation requirements in one of five ways.

    Keystone Pathways:

    1.  Keystone Proficiency Pathway:

    • Proficient or Advanced in Algebra 1
    • Proficient or Advanced in Biology
    • Proficient or Advanced in Literature

    2.  Keystone Composite Pathway

    • At least 1 Keystone score is Proficient or Advanced
    • No score is Below Basic
    • Composite Keystone Score is 4452 or Greater

    3.  CTE Concentrator--For further explanation of the CTE Pathway, please see PDE's Act 6 guidance

    Graduation Requirements for CTE Act 6 of 2017

    • Each student must meet locally established grade-based requirements for academic content associated with every Keystone Exam on which the student earned a score of Basic or Below Basic.  *Completion of local grade-based requirements in any science and technology and environment and ecology course shall satisfy the requirements for the academic content area associated with the Keystone Exam in Biology for CTE concentrators. AND one piece of evidence:
    • Attainment of an Industry-Based Competency Certification related to the CTE concentrator’s program of study.
      OR

    • Demonstration of high likelihood of success on approved industry-based competency assessment as demonstrated by performance on benchmark assessments, course grades, and other factors consistent with the CTE concentrator’s goals and career plan and as determined by a chief school administrator in consultation with an area vocational-technical school director or principal of a comprehensive high school. The determination shall be made no later than the end of the eleventh grade, or, if a student enrolled in a one-year program, the end of the first semester of twelfth grade.
      OR

    • Demonstration of readiness for continued meaningful engagement in a CTE Concentrator Program of Study as demonstrated by performance on benchmark assessments, course grades, and other factors consistent with the CTE concentrator’s goals and career plan and as determined by a chief school administrator in consultation with an area vocational-technical school director or principal of a comprehensive high school. The determination shall be made no later than the end of the eleventh grade, or, if a student enrolled in a one-year program, the end of the first semester of twelfth grade.

    4.  Alternative Assessment

    • Each student must meet locally established grade-based requirements for academic content associated with every Keystone Exam on which the student earned a score of Basic or Below Basic and one of the following:
    • Attainment of an established score on an approved alternate assessment (SAT, PSAT, ACT, ASVAB)

      • SAT:  Total score 1010
      • PSAT:  Total score of 970
      • ACT:  Composite Score of 21
      • ASVAB:  Composite Score of 31
      • ACT WorkKeys NCRC (National Career Readiness Certificate-Gold Level

    The student must meet or exceed any one of the established scores for the following approved alternative assessments to meet state high school graduation requirements regardless of the number of Keystone Exams for which the student did not achieve proficiency.

    • Attainment of 3 or higher on an approved Advanced Placement (AP) Exam for each Keystone Exam content area in which the student achieved less than Proficient.
    Approved AP Exams
    Algebra I Biology Literature
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Calculus BC
    • AP Chemistry
    • AP Computer Science A
    • AP Computer Science Principles
    • AP Physics 1: Algebra Based
    • AP Physics 2: Algebra Based
    • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
    • AP Physics C: Mechanics
    • AP Statistics
    • AP Biology
    • AP Chemistry
    • AP Environmental Science
    • AP Physics 1: Algebra Based
    • AP Physics 2: Algebra Based
    • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
    • AP Physics C: Mechanics
    • AP English Language and Composition
    • AP English Literature and Composition

     

    • Successful completion of a college-in-high school (CHS) course in an academic content area associated with each Keystone Exam in which the student did not achieve at least a proficient score

     

    • Successful completion of a pre-apprenticeship program

     

    • Acceptance in an accredited non-profit institution of higher education and evidence of the ability to enroll in college-level course work
      • The student must demonstrate acceptance into one accredited 4-year non-profit institution of higher education to meet state high school graduation requirements regardless of the number of Keystone Exams for which the student did not achieve proficiency.
      • To demonstrate acceptance into an accredited 4-year non-profit institution of higher education, students must provide:

        - A letter of admittance confirming non-conditional acceptance into an explicit degree program or major
        OR
        - A letter of general admittance AND evidence of the ability to enroll in college-level coursework through one of the following:

         - Placement test results indicating the student may enroll in college-level coursework in every subject area tested

        or

        - College registration confirmation of enrollment in college-level courses (non-remedial) only

        or

        - A locally-established graduate profile recommended minimally to consist of

    *Minimum GPA 

    *Minimum Attendance rate in grades 11 and 12

    *Successful completion in an advanced* secondary-level math course other than the course leading to the Algebra I Keystone Exam

    *Successful completion in an advanced* secondary-level English course other than the course leading to the Literature Keystone Exam

    *determined by the LEA to be equal or greater rigor than the Keystone-associated course

     5.  Evidence Based

    • Each student must meet locally established grade-based requirements for academic content associated with each Keystone Exam on which the student earned a score of Basic or Below Basic and demonstration of three pieces of evidence consistent with the student's goals and career plans
    • Evidence-Based Requirements: Section 1-Minimally, the student must meet one of the required three pieces of evidence.  The student may satisfy select criteria more than once through the of the following:
      • Attainment of an established score on any Advanced Placement Program Exam:  
        • AP program exam: score of 3
      • Acceptance to an accredited nonprofit institution of higher education other than a 4-year institution and evidence of the ability to enroll in college-level coursework        
      • Attainment of an industry-recognized credential     
      • Successful completion of a concurrent enrollment or postsecondary course
    • Evidence-Based Requirements: Section 2-If not met above through criteria listed in Section One, the student may satisfy up to two additional pieces of evidence.  The student may satisfy select criteria more than once through the of the following:
      • Attainment of a score of proficient or advanced on a Keystone Exam
      • Satisfactory completion of a appoved service learning project
      • A certificate of successful completion of an internship, externship, or cooperative education program
      • Satisfactory compliance with the NCAA's Division II core courses for college-bound student athletes, with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or the equivalent on an alternate grading scale
      • A letter guaranteeing full-time employment