You may have seen media reports this week that the Ohio Department of Education has released state report cards. Portions of the report card scores are based on the controversial PARCC assessments many of our students took last school year.
The PARCC tests occurred over multiple, lengthy sittings from February to April 2015. Since that time, due to public outcry from parents, educators and community members, the Ohio General Assembly moved to switch tests away from PARCC. Now, our district results from last year are being released, a full nine months after students took the test. Many people are left wondering, “What is the point?”
As reported in the Columbus Dispatch, Chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee Peggy Lehner said, “The scores will drop. It is not to be taken as a sign that anything bad is happening in your school. Any data that was derived from the test last year, no one should really pay any attention to it.” (Score Drop No Big Deal This Time.)
Our district results are in line with our expectations. However, we want to caution ourselves from comparing the results of this year to previous years, as well as years to come. Per state legislation, PARCC tests will not be given to Ohio students again. The 2014-15 PARCC test was a “one and done”. In three years, Ohio students will have taken three different versions of state tests (OAA, PARCC, AIR). It will be many years until a state assessment can provide longitudinal data for comparative purposes.
Our district’s academic culture is one of high expectation and rigor; that is one of the many reasons parents choose Hilliard City Schools for their family. Even without a reliable state assessment data point, our teachers use a variety of assessment tools in the classroom on a regular basis to measure the progress of each individual student. The strengths of our academic programs will continue to be monitored and refined through locally-decided assessments. We will ensure that each student is Ready for Tomorrow.