The PDE states that students who opt out of the Keystone exam will be required to take the project-based assessment in the 2016-2017 school year. This is currently being challenged as the PBA is not available for parental review which is in conflict with PA School Code Chapter 4.4(d)(1)(2)(3) that provides a process for parental review.
Also, the content of the PBA is aligned to the modules of the Keystone exam, therefore the content is the same. The religious opt out would apply to the PBA in the same manner it applies to the Keystone exam.
Parents have been in contact with John Weiss, Director, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Assessment and Accountability for clarification on these two issues. According to Mr. Weiss on 11/4/2014 these questions are: "in our Office of Chief Counsel". This blog will be updated with that response.
**Parents can request to review the Project-Based Assessment**
The below letter may be used until further clarification is obtained.
I would like to review the project-based assessment prior to [my child] taking it. As you know PA School Code Chapter 4.4(d)(1)(2)(3) states:
(d) School entities shall adopt policies to assure that parents or guardians have the following: (1) Access to information about the curriculum, including academic standards to be achieved, instructional materials and assessment techniques. (2) A process for the review of instructional materials.
Per Chapter 4.4(d)(5) parents can opt out of the Keystone exam. The content of the PBA is aligned to the modules of Keystone exam, therefore, the religious opt out for the Keystone Exam would apply to the PBA as the content is the same.