Pennsylvania Getting Swept into Common Core Debate

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

In the last three years, the Bethlehem Area School District and other districts have spent lots of money rewriting curriculum and lessons to prepare students for tougher state-sanctioned academic standards and exams.

"It's got to be tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands," said Bethlehem's Chief Academic Officer Jack Silva.

In January, the district's first batch of high schoolers took the algebra I, biology and literature Keystone exams that follow a 5-year-old universal set of standards — known as the Common Core — that Pennsylvania and 44 other states have adopted. Starting Tuesday and lasting through Thursday, another batch of Bethlehem students, some as young as middle school, will take the Keystones, which will become a graduation requirement for students who will be seniors in 2017 and beyond.

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