PSEA supports McGarrigle’s grad options bill

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PSEA supports McGarrigle’s grad options bill

Voice: September 2018

PSEA members’ advocacy played a major role in getting a bill passed by the state Senate in June to give high school students additional options to fulfill graduation requirements. Now, the same support is needed as the House considers the measure.

“Senate passage would have been impossible without PSEA’s advocacy and support,’’ said state Sen. Tom McGarrigle, R-Chester/Delaware, who is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 1095.

The bill would take effect when the delay in using the Keystone exams as graduation requirements expires during the 2019-20 school year.

 “The purpose of graduation requirements is to ensure students can show proficiency in the knowledge and skills relevant to their individual career pathways,’’ McGarrigle said. “The Keystone exams shouldn’t be the sole factor in determining high school graduation because they cannot measure the range of aptitude needed to be successful in college or the workplace.’’

SB 1095 follows legislation passed by the General Assembly last year, and also supported by PSEA, to allow career and technical students to demonstrate their competency to graduate through their grades, alternative assessments, and industry-based certification.

“The endless regimen of standardized tests is not enough to demonstrate proficiency,’’ McGarrigle said. “Standardized testing has handcuffed dedicated teachers and principals, preventing them from carrying out the vital individualized instruction necessary for children to succeed.’’

PSEA President Dolores McCracken praised McGarrigle’s efforts, and she urged PSEA members to continue their strong advocacy of the legislation in the House.

“Sen. McGarrigle recognizes there are other ways to measure students’ abilities than standardized tests,’’ she said. “Students’ academic records reflect outstanding and unique accomplishments that shouldn’t be ignored.”

Go to today and encourage your state representative to support McGarrigle’s graduation options bill. It will make a difference.