House Bill 487 of the 130th General Assembly required the superintendent of public instruction to issue a report reviewing the number of tests administered in grades K-12 and make recommendations for reducing the number of tests. The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) released this report last week. The testing report included a number of recommended legislative and administrative changes.
Recommended legislative changes:
- Limit the time a student takes state and district tests to 2 percent of the school year, and limit time spent practicing for tests to 1 percent of the school year.
- Eliminate student learning objectives as part of the teacher evaluation system for teachers in grades preK-3 and for non-core subject teachers in grades 4012.
- Eliminate the fall third grade reading test, but administer the test in the summer for students who need it.
- Eliminate the Ohio requirement that districts give math and writing diagnostic tests to students in grades 1-3.
If the recommended legislative changes are adopted, Ohio can reduce the amount of time students are taking tests by 20 percent.
The ODE identified a number of system improvements that will greatly impact student testing. Recommended administrative changes by the ODE:
- Work with the federal government to advocate for flexibility in Ohio’s testing system.
- Monitor the implementation of new tests and evaluate the performance of test vendors. This includes PARCC (English and math) and AIR (science and social studies) tests. ODE will make changes as needed to ensure Ohio’s testing system provides accurate data on student performance.
- Create models for local schools to increase the efficiency of local testing by finding ways a single test may be used for multiple purposes.
- Address teacher concerns regarding the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment that the test causes disruption to classroom instruction.
- Evaluate whether the new state tests can identify gifted students.
- Implement the new innovative school district waiver pilot program to develop new and creative ways of testing students.
The ODE’s recommended administrative changes will streamline testing and result in a reduction in testing time for students.
What You Need To Know
If the recommended changes are adopted, be prepared for the above changes to be made to your current testing program.