Ohio's Chance to Make State Tests More Meaningful

Ohio's Chance to Make State Tests More Meaningful

In December 2015, both Chambers of the U.S. Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) - which replaced the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law.  By this fall, states must submit implementation plans for approval in order to get federal funding under this newly enacted education policy.

The ESSA narrows the United States federal government's role in elementary and secondary education. While ESSA retains some of the annual standardized testing requirements of NCLB, it shifts the law's federal accountability provisions to states. Consequently, this is a pivotal time for Ohioans who care about local control to make their voices heard! As a founding member of the Greater Cincinnati School Advocacy Network, Mason City Schools joins with other educators throughout the region in strongly urging that Ohio address the following important considerations from educators and families:

  • Stop the State Driven Over-Testing of Children ESSA requires “high quality student assessments in math, reading/language arts, and science” but there is a lot of room for reducing the onerous amount of testing that results in curriculum shrinkage, test prep, and less innovation and creativity in the classroom. Recommendation: Ohio should engage in the minimum amount of testing required under ESSA. This includes eliminating end-of-course exams in favor of other options such as the ACT at high school, eliminating state social studies tests, and eliminating the 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee.

 

  • Ensure that the State Tests Give Timely, Meaningful Feedback Ohio’s state tests are mostly used to rank and sort districts and schools - rather than sharing information to improve a student’s academic achievement. Ohio’s assessment system does not provide assessment results in a format that allows teachers and building administrators to easily analyze the data. Recommendation: Ohio should ensure that the new assessment system allows educators to use the data more efficiently and effectively to ensure high impact learning.

If you are interested in sharing your concerns about Ohio’s ESSA implementation, please consider sending a quick message to:

Dear NAME, I hope you will take the time to get Ohio’s implementation of The Every Student Succeeds Act right. We have a “once in a decade” opportunity to rectify some of the federal government’s overreach, and I hope you will advocate strongly that we stop the over-testing of our children and let our teachers get back to teaching. Our goal shouldn’t be to have our children be the best test-takers in the world. Instead, we need our children to be the best innovators and creators in the world. Consequently, I strongly urge you to ensure that:

  • Ohio engages in the minimum amount of testing required under ESSA. This includes eliminating end-of-course exams in favor of the ACT at high school, eliminating state social studies tests, and eliminating the 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee.

  • Ohio’s state tests give meaningful, timely feedback. Ohio’s state tests are mostly used to rank and sort districts and schools - rather than sharing information to improve a student’s academic achievement. Ohio should ensure that the new assessment system allows educators to use the data more efficiently and effectively to ensure high impact learning. Sincerely, NAME ADDRESS, Mason, Ohio 45040 EMAIL TELEPHONE NUMBER

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