Funding crunch delays Keystone Exams until 2012

    The Pennsylvania Board of Education will make one last announcement about new state tests before the entire program “goes to sleep” for a year.

    The Keystone Exams test a student’s mastery of subjects largely taught in high school.

    Three of the exams have been kid-tested and teacher-approved, and the Board of Education is announcing the passing and failing scores for each, so teachers can prepare their curriculums.

    But Carolyn Dumaresq of the state Department of Education says the tests themselves won’t hit classrooms until 2012 at the earliest–because there’s no money in the state budget to administer these tests.

    “That’s why the tests were put on hold for a year. And that includes taking any tests and refining them. So there’s no money that will be spent on Keystones for one year,” she said. “Whether it’s refining or field testing or administering–nothing’s being spent.

    Back in 2009, the board planned to start phasing in the tests for the 2010 school year.

    The idea for the Keystone Exams was born in the Rendell Administration out of concern that Pennsylvania high school graduates were not well-prepared for college-level classes.

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