This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania students in the class of 2017 are the first who will be required to pass standardized Keystone exams in algebra, literature and biology in order to graduate high school. A new data analysis from Research for Action details how complicated it could become to help students graduate who can’t pass those exams.
State law passed under Gov. Ed Rendell and implemented under Gov. Tom Corbett says that if students can’t pass the tests after two tries, schools must help them to complete a project-based assessment.
As written, though, the law provides zero additional resources for schools to do this work.
"I don’t think at that point it time it was clear what kinds of resources might be required in order for school districts and charters to meet the Keystone graduation requirements," said Kate Shaw, executive director of Research for Action.