A requirement that students pass a series of state exams before being allowed to graduate from Pennsylvania’s public high schools was unanimously approved Thursday by the State Board of Education.
The requirement faces a yearlong review process involving, among other groups, the state House and Senate Education Committees. If the measure survives, Pennsylvania will join 22 other states with similar requirements, according to the Center on Education Policy, an advocacy group in Washington.
Four additional states — Arkansas, Maryland, Oklahoma and Washington — will require graduation exams by 2012, two years before the Pennsylvania requirement would take effect. Connecticut is debating the idea.
Policy makers like the requirement because “communities are telling them that American kids are leaving high school without adequate skills,” the education center’s president, John F. Jennings, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.