SB 880, which is now Act 1 in Chapter 4, made it illegal to administer the Keystone Exams for two years, to any student. The PDE made it their own legal interpretation that school districts could administer them, make them a grad requirement and bank scores for students in 2019 and beyond. The intent and the legal language of SB880/Act 1 is to delay the administration of the Keystone Exams and the graduation requirement. See legal language below (red highlight emphasis is mine):
(1) Notwithstanding section 2604-B(b)(2)(v), 22 Pa. Code § 4.24 (relating to high school graduation requirements), 4.51 (relating to State assessment system) or 4.51c (relating to project-based assessment) or any statute or regulation to the contrary, the use of the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement or as a benchmark for the need for participation in a project-based assessment shall be delayed until the 2018-2019 school year.
"Notwithstanding ... or any statute or regulation to the contrary" is a legal statement that covers any and all other state or local regulations and mandates. That means this statement nullifies PA School Codes: 4.24 (relating to high school graduation requirements), 4.51 (relating to State assessment system) or 4.51c (relating to project-based assessment). This also means that a local requirement to pass the Keystone Exams or Project, or Alternative/Remedial call is NULLIFIED for the two years that Act 1 is in effect, until 2019 and beyond.
Key Point: Keystone exam scores, per Act 1, are not allowed to be banked for these two years! This would generally affect students taking the Algebra 1 Keystone in 7th, 8th or 9th grade (any student who takes the Algebra 1 Keystone in 2017 or 2018). See legal language below (red highlight emphasis is mine):
... the use of the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement or as a benchmark for the need for participation in a project-based assessment shall be delayed until the 2018-2019 school year.... the use of the Keystone Exams ... shall be delayed until the 2018-2019 school year. Legal language is clear here SHALL BE DELAYED!
SB880/Act 1 can be read in full HERE and was approved February 3, 2016.
A class action lawsuit against the PDE is already written to be filed. No further information on this right now.
SAT Bill would replace Keystone Exam graduation requirement and fulfill the federal testing requirement in 11th grade
Senator Dinniman is sponsoring a bill to have the SAT as an option to fulfill the federal testing requirement in 11th grade. He clarified, and these two points are important, that his SAT bill will include language that it can be opted out of and there will not be a minimum score required to graduate. The two-fold benefit is that it would eliminate the administration of the Keystone Exam and the grad requirement and fulfill the federal testing requirement. While I am personally opposed to the SAT, this option would eliminate the KE as a grad requirement. Also, students in low income schools would have an opportunity to take them where they otherwise couldn't afford to. My biggest concern is the intrusive data mining attached to this test, which is optional, just would need to inform parents and students.
What can parents of students in the class of 2017, 2018 who are up against taking the Keystone Exams this May?
Opt Out of the Keystone Exam this May 2017. Especially students who have already taken the exam multiple times. We are at a point in this that we know:
- The PDE does not have the best interest of the students, they support the corporate privatization of public schools, and they are politically corrupt.
- School Administrators, Superintendents and Principals will not actively support students, they will support the mandates put forth by the corrupt PDE. (Don't be fooled by their smiles and patronizing "I agree with you but my hands are tied" sentiments.)
- Teachers overwhelmingly do oppose the Keystone graduation requirement and support students, however their jobs are threatened if they speak out on this.
Think about that for moment, adults in the form of school administrators and the folks at the PDE, who are responsible for thousands of students education and preparing them for the future are sabotaging their lives. Adults versus our children.
Keystone Exam testing window is May 15-25. In the next week I'll post a sample letter, with legal language and process to opt out and of to handle different school district responses.
Consider watching these short and very informative videos about the future of Public Education, where students will be on one-on-devices that will allow constant data mining in a corporate and privatized setting that will make public school as we know it obsolete.