Act 158 Graduation Requirements & Keystone Exams

Act 158 of 2018 was signed into law by Governor Wolf on October 24, 2018. The legislation changes language about high school graduation requirements, and how Keystone Exams factor into such requirements for graduating classes of 2022 and beyond. The information below explains the student pathways toward graduation as defined by Act 158.

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Pathways to Graduation (Class of 2022 and beyond)


Keystone Proficiency Pathway:  
Scoring proficient or advanced on each Keystone Exam - Algebra I, Literature, and Biology.


Keystone Composite Pathway: 
Earning a satisfactory composite score on the Algebra I, Literature, and Biology Keystone Exams. The Composite Pathway requirements are:

  • Score at least 1500 (proficient) on one of the three Keystone Exams, and
  • Have an overall composite score of 4452 for all three Keystone Exams

Alternate Assessment Pathway: 
Successful completion of locally established grade-based requirements for academic content areas associated with each Keystone Exam on which the student did not achieve proficiency and one of the following:

  • Attainment of an established score on an approved alternate assessment (SAT, PSAT, ACT, ASVAB);
  • Gold Level on the ACT WorkKeys Assessment;
  • Attainment of an established score on an Advanced Placement Program or an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program exam in an academic content area associated with each Keystone Exam on which the student did not achieve at least a proficient score;
  • Successful completion of a concurrent enrollment course in an academic content area associated with each Keystone Exam in which the student did not achieve at least a proficient score;
  • Successful completion of a pre-apprenticeship program; or
  • Acceptance in an accredited 4-year nonprofit institution of higher education and evidence of the ability to enroll in college-level coursework.

Evidence-Based Pathway: 
Successful completion of locally established grade-based requirements for academic content areas associated with each Keystone Exam on which the student did not achieve proficiency and demonstration of three pieces of evidence consistent with the student's goals and career plans, including:

1.  One of the following:

  • Attainment of an established score on the ACT WorkKeys assessment, a SAT subject test, an Advanced Placement Program Exam, or an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Exam;
  • Acceptance to an accredited nonprofit institution of higher education other than a 4-year institution and evidence of the ability to enroll in college-level coursework;
  • Attainment of an industry-recognized credential; or
  • Successful completion of a concurrent enrollment or postsecondary course; and

2.  Two additional pieces of evidence, including one or more of the options listed above, or: satisfactory completion of a service learning project; attainment of a score of proficient or advanced on a Keystone Exam; a letter guaranteeing full-time employment; a certificate of successful completion of an internship or cooperative education program; or satisfactory compliance with the NCAA's core courses for college-bound student-athletes with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.



CTE Pathway:
For Career and Technical Education (CTE) Concentrators, successful completion of locally established grade-based requirements for academic content areas associated with each Keystone Exam on which the student did not achieve proficiency and attainment of an industry-based competency certification related to the CTE Concentrator's program of study or demonstration of a high likelihood of success on an approved industry-based competency assessment or readiness for continued meaningful engagement in the CTE Concentrator's program of study.


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