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Auditor general: save money and get rid of Keystone Exam

Written by The Associated Press | Jul 10, 2019 5:36 PM
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FILE PHOTO: State Auditor General Eugene A. DePasquale, speaks after he was sworn in for his second term at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Jan. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Knight)


(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's elected fiscal watchdog is urging state officials to end the Keystone Exams, saying they're not federally required and it's costing taxpayers nearly $100 million between 2015 and 2021.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Wednesday that Pennsylvania should instead consider using a nationally recognized standardized high school test. DePasquale says many states use the SAT or ACT to meet the federal requirement for a secondary-level standardized test.

DePasquale says at least 12 other states have phased out the state-specific tests while Pennsylvania keeps paying millions of dollars to Minnesota-based Data Recognition Corp. each year to administer and score the Keystone Exams.

The Department of Education says it's willing to consider a high school exam other than the Keystones, but says notes any change in the assessment requires federal approval.

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