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Additional Keystone Exams Not Being Pursued, Says Tobash
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Berks) said today the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has no plan to develop additional Keystone Exams, past the three tests currently required. Tobash received a letter from Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq this week, stating that “The PA Department of Education has no existing plan or schedule of when to pursue the final five Keystone Exams.”

“I am pleased to know the Department of Education listened to the recommendation of educators and the Keystone Exams will not be further developed,” said Tobash. “I appreciate Secretary Dumaresq’s commitment to take no further action on the development of further Keystone Exams.”

The Commonwealth has developed and implemented three Keystone Exams, costing taxpayers approximately $70 million over a six-year period. These exams are currently fulfilling the federal requirements of No Child Left Behind.

Tobash is the sponsor of House Bill 1506, which seeks to halt the PDE from the development and implementation of further standardized testing for nine years, to ensure students are receiving a quality education and that taxpayer dollars are being used wisely. This bill was the focus of a House Education Committee hearing in December, where educators testified about the unintended consequences the exams have created, among other issues.

The secretary stated in her letter that Tobash’s legislation brought to light the importance of studying and understanding the outcomes and unintended consequences of the exams before additional taxpayer money is spent on the development of more exams.

“We are giving up meaningful class time and in-depth curriculum by overusing standardized tests in our schools,” said Tobash. “This has created a disservice for our students by spending too much valuable class time on standardized testing and by narrowing curriculum to support that testing. Instead, we should be using taxpayer money to support efficiency in education that relates to building well-rounded, innovative, critical- thinking students that will lead to a strong workforce of tomorrow. Additionally, teachers deserve the support and the tools to impart their expertise toward creating supportive learning environments and challenging classroom opportunities for our children.”

House Bill 1506 is currently in the House Education Committee.

For more information on this issue, visit or or call his district office in Schuylkill Haven at 570-385-8235. 

Representative Mike Tobash
125th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin
717.705.2032 /
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