This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
After much delay and consternation, Pennsylvania will change its high school graduation requirements.
But the change won’t be as drastic as was first planned when state leaders committed to revisions nearly a decade ago.
Rather than having to pass a set of exams, current freshmen will be eligible to graduate if they can check off one of several boxes, including having SAT or ACT scores above a state-set threshold; an industry certification; a full-time job offer; proof of military enrollment; or acceptance to a four-year college.
Students will have to meet locally determined grade requirements in each of the subjects tested on the Keystone Exams: Algebra I, biology, and literature. Students can still pass those exams to get their diplomas or receive a composite score determined by Department of Education officials.
The Pennsylvania Senate passed this new framework unanimously Monday, and Gov. Wolf quickly announced he would sign the bill.
The struggle to revamp graduation requirements started in 2010.