Mason City Schools Calls on Ohio to Move to Fed Minimums
Today, Ohio released the first portion of results for the 2015 Ohio School Report Cards. Last year there was an intense amount of testing, and even though Ohio moved away from the PARCC assessment this year, the state is still going beyond what is required by the federal Department of Education.
"Ohio needs to stop science and social studies testing since those are not required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. In addition, we need to move away from testing reading and math at each grade level. Our school districts need to have our temperature taken, we don't need to undergo MRIs," said Dr. Gail Kist-Kline, Mason City Schools Superintendent.
This year's Report Card uses data from the PARCC test - which was dumped after a woeful first year that included technology glitches and taking up too much administrative and instructional time. The data that has been released is not useful for educators to make instructional decisions, and is unreliable since it counts as zeros the scores of students whose families opted out of the tests.
Even Senator Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee told the Columbus Dispatch that, "Parents should be leery about putting too much emphasis on those categories that are based on PARCC test results... Any data that was derived from the test last year no one should really pay any attention to it."
The Mason City School District believes in accountability, and uses data from ACT and Advanced Placement as important benchmarks to assess students' preparation for college. The state now includes ACT, SAT and AP data in its Prepared for Success Measures. The Mason City School District advocates that Ohio end state-mandated end-of-course exams, and instead shift to utilizing the nationally-normed ACT as its high school assessment.
"Our community expects our children to be ready for college, and that's what our high school delivers," said Dr. Kist-Kline. "We recognize the need for assessments and accountability, and know that it is important for families and community members to have information about how their schools are performing. However, the state has struggled to find the right balance. It is high time that the state administer the nationally-normed ACT to all high school students for assessments of English, mathematics, reading, science and writing, rather than end-of-course exams."
Mason High School offers 23 Advanced Placement Courses. Sixty-three percent of the MHS Class of 2014 took one or more AP course, and 36.3% of students earned a 3 or higher. In addition, 64.9% of the Class of 2014 earned a remediation-free score on the ACT. View the Mason High School Profile.
"In Mason, we know that a high quality education includes a lot more than what is measured on state tests. That's why we released our third annual Quality Profile earlier this year. This is a more complete look at the value Mason City Schools offers to the community, and what is important to our local residents," said Dr. Kist-Kline.