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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Turzai, Tobash Announce New Legislation to Support Career and Technical Education

HARRISBURG – Legislation designed to provide career and technical education students with greater flexibility in fulfilling their graduation requirements has been introduced by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin).

“We need to have a more open-minded view of what is meaningful, quality education for our students – one size does not fit all,” Turzai said. “Each approach is as important and challenging as another. Providing additional routes for students highlights the value of a variety of educational paths and careers.”

House Bill 2381 would allow students who participate in a vocational education program (either in a vocational-technical school or in a school district) to demonstrate proficiency on exams developed by the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) in lieu of demonstrating proficiency on a Keystone Exam.

For more than 50 years, NOCTI has provided a battery of assessments for students enrolled in career and technical programs across the United States. The assessments are developed by subject matter experts in secondary and post-secondary education, as well as business and industry.

“The Keystone Exams should not be a barrier to gainful employment. Students are often very successful when they choose a career path that is right for them,” Tobash said. “We need our schools to be able to provide education for many of the skills and abilities for which employers are looking.”

This substitution option would only be available during school years in which demonstrated proficiency on a Keystone Exam is a requisite condition for high school graduation. Act 1 of 2016 delayed implementation of the Keystone Exams as a high school graduation requirement until the 2018-19 school year.

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