State-Testing Advisory Committee Makes Recommendations

Student Testing Changes Proposed (Image 1)

Changes to how and when Ohio students take standardized tests could come as early at August.

A state-testing advisory committee delivered their recommendations to lawmakers last week.

The committee of 28 people, many of them educators here in Central Ohio, were appointed by the Senate Education Committee in March.

“I’m encouraged by the recommendations,” said Miriam Abbott. 

She is the mother of three boys who are students in Columbus City Schools. 

“They could’ve gone a lot of directions. And it’s clear they went in a direction that parents want to see our legislators move in.”

Hilliard Superintendent John Marschhausen sat on the committee. He tells NBC4 they worked hard to restore balance between testing and in class instruction. To do this, they recommend reducing the number of assessment periods in a school year.

“When we looked at the testing system, I think it was a little bit out of balance. We spent an awful lot of time on the assessments, which really took several weeks of instruction away for students,” said Marschhausen.

The committee also recommended that state stay with paper and pencil testing. Many districts are not equipped with the bandwidth and computers needed for online testing options. And they recommended the schools deliver test results to districts over the summer. This would help teachers prepare for next school year.

“I’d like to see local districts have the opportunity to select assessments that they want for growth measures for us to see how we are doing locally,” said Marschhausen.

Miriam is encouraged, but wonders what, if anything, lawmakers will do.

“I worry there’s too much wiggle room to make meaningful improvement.”

The Senate Education Committee will consider these recommendations. They may have to amend House Bill 74, the current legislation that deals with assessment and testing. Or the recommendations could be added into the biennial budget bill.

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