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HARRISBURG (June 21, 2017) - PSEA President Jerry Oleksiak today praised the enactment of a new state law giving career and technical education students an alternative to the high-stakes Keystone Exams.
The passage of House Bill 202, signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf today, will allow public school students in vocational and technical education programs to demonstrate competency through their grades and alternate assessments or industry-based certifications.
“With passage of this law, Gov. Wolf and state lawmakers have recognized what teachers serving students in career and technical education programs have been saying for a long time,” Oleksiak said. “Graduation decisions should be based upon students’ entire academic records, rather than the results of a single standardized test.
“CTE students will now be able to demonstrate their skills and competency through their complete record, and not just a test score.
“David Namey, president of PSEA’s Department of Career and Technical Studies, has been a longtime leader and advocate for CTE students and programs, and helped lead the charge to get this bill passed. I’m grateful for his leadership on this issue.
“PSEA members hope that state legislators build upon this step and work to establish a more thoughtful approach to student assessment and high-stakes testing.”
Oleksiak is a special education teacher in the Upper Merion Area School District. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents approximately 180,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.