March 5 – COLUMBUS – K-12 schools in Ohio will be running standardized tests, whether pandemic or non-pandemic, this spring, but negative consequences from poor results on these tests will not occur. This emerges from a bill largely passed by the Ohio House of Representatives on Thursday.
“House Bill 67 has a single purpose: to relieve students returning to school so that these tests have as little impact on them as possible for this school year, this school year only,” said Rep. Kyle Koehler (R ., Springfield) who sponsored the bill with Rep. Adam Bird (R., Cincinnati).
The Biden government recently announced that it will not waive state testing requirements for this school year. So the Ohio House voted to mitigate the effects of the poor results.
The board opposed democratic attempts to allow school districts to abandon the tests, allow students the option not to physically return to the classroom to take them, and extend the test window into the summer.
Governor Mike DeWine had indicated that he refused to simply drop the health tests because the results could shed some light on what the students might have lost during the coronavirus year when many were being taught virtually.
When the law was first introduced, the state education ministry would have had to apply to the federal government to waive the test.
Instead, it would relieve public and private schools of the need to take the final American History exam, widen the time windows for taking mandate tests in March, April, and May, and instead provide a path to a high school diploma a final test to rely on a score.
State MP Lisa Sobecki (D., Toledo) tried unsuccessfully to amend the bill to give schools the choice of canceling or running the state tests.
“In my own district, high schools just got back to their building for the first time of year,” she said. “Not having the extra state tests that allow schools to take the tests is fair. It’s fair for any local community to decide whether the test is right for them based on what their school is has done this year, and it’s fair students. “
The story goes on
The bill now goes to the Senate, and time is of the essence. The first tests begin on March 22nd, in some cases just weeks after students return to class all day.
Although the bill passed House 93-1, it failed in a separate vote to get the majority required to add an emergency clause that would allow it to go into effect immediately after the governor’s signature, rather than the usual 90 Days to wait.
Jennifer Hogue, spokeswoman for the Ohio School Boards Associations, noted that the non-contingency bill will not take effect until June, after the test window has already closed. She expressed hope that the Senate will add one before sending the bill back to the house.
“This will ensure Ohio kids have the flexibility needed to complete the school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “It will also help school principals meet federal examination requirements by extending the state’s assessment windows.”
The bill allows students to use final grades instead of a final degree to qualify for a diploma for this school year and for the 2023-24 school year. It would also allow a student to graduate when the principal, teachers, and counselors determine that the student has successfully completed the curriculum or an individual education program.
The state will again be prohibited from using the results to issue school reports that give overall grades that have a negative impact on the evaluation of a school or a teacher. However, schools receive data on how each of their students specifically took the third grade reading guarantee test.
Nor should the state use the fact that a student did not take the standardized tests to deduct that student from a school’s number of students for funding purposes.
First published March 4, 2021, 3:26 p.m.