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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 21, 2022 03:11 PM
From: Representative Jason Ortitay
To: All House members
Subject: Keystone Exam Alternative Feasibility Study
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would direct the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education to contract for an independent study to determine if the ACT or SAT can be used in lieu of the current Keystone Exams for high school students in literature, algebra one, and biology.

Based on a 2019 report by the Auditor General, the SAT would be cheaper to administer than the current Keystone Exams. Per the report, the Keystone Exams cost around $17.6 million to administer and score, while the SATs would cost around $13.3 million to administer and score for every high school junior and senior. Both the SAT and ACT measure college readiness and are tests that are already utilized by around half of high school students in Pennsylvania by the time they graduate.
This study is necessary to determine if the ACT and SAT are suitable to use in lieu of the current Keystone Exams. The study will focus on if the tests adhere to state standards as well as standards established by the federal government for federal accountability testing under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

This study is a step forward in potentially providing more options to school districts regarding federal accountability testing, similar to what several other states have done.

Please consider co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation. 

Introduced as HB147