State Auditor General: End Keystone Exams, Save Money

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. -- Sharpen those pencils, and get ready.

The state auditor general wants to get rid of the state's Keystone Exams, which are the standardized tests for public high school students.

Instead, Eugene DePasquale is recommending a test like the SAT, which is a test widely used for college admissions.

"College may not be for everyone, and we understand and respect that, but at least having this SAT taken would give more students the option to know what they could do if they wanted to go down that path," said DePasquale.

DePasquale said taxpayers spend millions on the Keystone Exams every year to an out-of-state company that develops and grades the exams.

The SAT, he says, would be cheaper and a better option.

"I think it's a very good idea. Just go along with making the SATs a test to qualify individuals for whatever they want to endeavor in the future," said Sandy Michaels of Nanticoke.

To ditch the Keystone Exams, state officials need federal approval.

Some people wish the government would do away with standardized testing altogether.

"There are too many students that in fact they even skip school that day or that week or I know it's like every other day that they have to take the tests on and it's just not right. It really isn't, too much stress on the kids," said Alice Matyas of Wapwallopen.

The federal government requires standardized testing in public schools.

DePasquale is convinced the SATs are the way to go.

"One test could have a benefit for a child's future.  One test does not. One test is cost-effective. The other is not," said DePasquale.

DePasquale said so far, 12 states have gotten away from state-specific standardized testing and moved onto other tests like the SAT.

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