from Senator Andy Dinniman (D-19)

HARRISBURG (July 10,2019) – State Senator Andy Dinniman today joined Auditor General Eugene DePasquale as the Auditor General released a special report on standardized testing costs, “Where Did Your Money Go?”

“The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s lack of transparency and accountability was disappointing and surprising regarding the Keystone exams and other standardized tests,” said Dinniman, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Education Committee and is a long and vocal opponent of the excessive and expensive Keystone Exams.

“Pennsylvania spends hundreds of millions of dollars on standardized testing, and in many cases, it isn’t even clear exactly what we’re paying for. Taxpayers have a right to be able to access clear and accurate information on how and why state dollars are being spent and what exactly we are getting in return. I thank the Auditor General and his staff for taking a closer look at these facts”

“My staff and I investigated the bid and contract procurement process,” Dinniman said. “They found needed documentation from the Department of Education missing or muddled, including information on how the contracts were scored and selected, contract amendments, and vouchers.”

Dinniman hopes DePasquale’s report will afford both the public and legislative leaders an opportunity to clearly see the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s ongoing spending activity related to standardized testing. Over the past decade, Pennsylvania and local school districts have either already spent or awarded contracts totaling more than $1.3 Billion for standardized testing. “Just think what $1.3 Billion could have done if it were put into the classroom where real learning takes place,” Dinniman said.

One company alone, Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) of Minnesota, has been awarded more than $741 million in testing contracts. In addition, two of the three DRC contracts were given sole source no-bid extensions. In the 2015-16 fiscal year and the first half of the 2016-17 fiscal year alone, DRC received more than $88 million….

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