Testing and Assessment Requirements Eased for 2015-16

Hilliard City Schools

marschhausen_john_hcsdWe have a voice . . . and we’ve been heard.

We met, we shared our concerns, and we engaged in the democratic process . . . and the General Assembly made changes.

Beginning with the Testing and Accountability Summit at Weaver Middle School on a cold, snowy evening last fall and culminating with Governor Kasich signing the budget bill into law, Ohio is making common sense changes to the assessment and accountability system.

Thank you to Ohio Senate President Keith Faber and Senate Education Chair Peggy Lehner for bringing together a diverse committee of interested, passionate educators, parents, policy makers, and elected officials to debate, discuss, and reflect on the assessment and accountability system. The committee’s work provided strong recommendations to the Senate for consideration; many of the suggestions were directly incorporated into the legislation.

The following is a summary of testing requirements in the budget:

  • The English Language Arts (ELA) test for third graders need be administered only once
  • General fund dollars may not be used to purchase PARCC assessments
  • State assessments will be administered once each year, in the second half of the year
  • Testing time must be reduced to provide more classroom instruction
  • The State Superintendent will contract only with companies that can meet established restrictions
  • The state vendor must return individual student scores within 45 days of the test’s administration or by June 30, whichever is earlier.
  • In the case of third grade reading, the company must return scores in 45 days, but no later than June 15
  • Previously required grade 1-3 diagnostic assessments are permitted, but not required
  • All districts must report the number of “opt outs” for school year 2014-2015.

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has announced that the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will develop new tests that will meet legislative mandates in the budget bill. AIR has worked in Ohio for over a decade – providing the OAA and OGT tests and more recently providing the new science and social studies assessments.

By selecting AIR as the vendor, Ohio is not starting over with the accountability system – Ohio is merely shifting to a single vendor and consolidating efforts. As more details are made available, the Hilliard City Schools will create and share our annual assessment calendar.

As always, our goal is to keep the focus on the students in our classrooms. Our work is about personalizing education for each and every student. Assessments are a valuable tool to measure growth, benchmark progress, and improve learning. We are committed to finding a balance between assessments and instructional time to personalize learning in order to ensure that every student is Ready for Tomorrow.