The superintendent of Salisbury Schools, Michael Roth, admittedly opened his address to the Salisbury Township School Board on a heavy note.
Roth was referring to an impending vote by the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) that could change graduation expectations for current high school juniors.
On November 21st, IRRC will be voting for or against the current Chapter Four regulations that outline graduation and testing standards. These regulations are based on the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards.
According to Roth, a vote against the new PA Common Core by IRRC will result in a reversion to the past standards, the National Common Core.
“I’ve been told that the five voting members of IRRC are being courted to vote against the current standards,” Roth said. “These standards aren’t great but if they vote no, we have to adopt the National Common Core rather than PA Core and that requires the development of doing ten Keystone exams.”
Roth further explained to the board that the current class of high school juniors would have to demonstrate proficiency in six of the ten Keystone exams, a feat he does not feel sure they can accomplish on such short notice.
“This creates angst amongst administrators,” Roth said. “Our teachers will be wondering how to help their students.”
The Chapter Four regulations will also affect charter schools and cyber-charter schools, not just public schools.
Roth promised to keep the Salisbury School Board abreast of all of IRRC decisions and suggested that board members and constituents reach out to their elected officials about the Chapter Four regulations and vote.