Testing Scrutiny Begins

The Ohio Senate’s Advisory Committee on Testing has laid out its plan to address complaints about the time spent on, stress imposed by, and evaluative use of Ohio’s plethora of standardized tests. CEA Governor Kim A. Jones is on the 28-member panel of school teachers, administrators and policy experts. The first meeting, held March 18, focused on the next steps: review of the PARCC and AIR tests, and a review of the testing schedules across the state. The committee recently sent a survey to principals, teachers and superintendent asking them to describe amounts of time spent on testing versus instruction, technology issues they have experienced with the tests, and for any other comments. Jones said she believes the committee will conduct a thorough review. Its report is due later this spring. Learn more here. The committee’s website includes a public comment area.

Testing reform push mounting

Thanks to the efforts of the Ohio Education Association, legislative eyes are increasingly shifting to House Bill 74, which among other things, would reduce testing in Ohio’s schools. News reports this week are highlighting efforts across Ohio to gain more local control of the ways and frequency with which schools administer standardized tests like the Common-Core’s PARCC.  The Ohio Education Association is backing the bill, which includes a requirement that the state identify tests that might be used for other purposes. The OEA agrees, and is backing companion efforts to give schools more control over the ways they evaluate their own teachers. Read the bill text here.

OEA weighs in on state budget

The Ohio Education Association testified on House Bill 64 (Ohio’s proposed 2016-2017 budget) on March 5 regarding a number of changes to education policy. Among their concerns:

  • The funding formula remains inadequate, with too much going to unaccountable charter schools.
  • Use of shared attribution to evaluate teachers may not be the best route.
  • De-regulation in hiring for high-performing schools is a slippery slope.
  • Establishment of a Senate advisory committee is a positive first step to fixing problems with excessive student testing.

Read more here.