Auditor General: Replacing Keystone Exams would save money

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s auditor general is calling on the state to change the standardized tests given to high school students.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says the state Department of Education spends millions every year for a Minnesota-based company to administer and score the Keystone Exams.

DePasquale recommends replacing the Keystone Exam with the SAT, a nationally recognized test. The Keystone Exams have not been federally required for four years.

“We could instead give the SAT to all students and still save at least one million dollars a year,” DePasquale said. “It will cost taxpayers nearly $100 million by the end of the contract for tests our students do not even need to take.”

Education Department officials over the last three years, the state has reduced costs associated with standardized testing, including the Keystone Exam, by 30 percent.

“As of today, no state has fully met the federal requirements to use the ACT or SAT for federal testing purposes,” said Matthew Stem, the deputy secretary for elementary and secondary education. “Currently, the Keystone Exams are the only assessment aligned to Pennsylvania’s state-level standards and fully federally approved to use in the commonwealth.”

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