Local students try out state test planned for 2015

STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) — Ohio is one of 36 states participating in a pilot test of a new online assessment for students that will replace the pencil and paper assessments that schools are currently using.

At Struthers Middle School on Monday, students were being tested for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, pilot test in language arts and math. The test will help gauge students’ progress and college readiness.

Ohio will start implementing the new online assessments next year.

“When the new tests come, there’s going to be a performance-based assessment, and an end-of-the-year assessment,” said Struthers Middle School Principal Pete Pirone.

The paperless tests will replace the Ohio Graduation Test for high school students, as well as the Ohio Achievement Assessment for grades three through eight. The tests also meet state-mandated Common Core Learning Standards.

However, the new testing system will take more time to complete.

“For the performance-based and the end of the year, the students will take five sections of tests, as compared to one as they currently take,” Pirone said.

In addition to Struthers City Schools, Austintown, Jackson-Milton, West Branch, and South Range school districts also are taking part in the pilot testing.

The goal of the preliminary testing is to find any glitches before the state launches the new system.

“For the most part, students seemed to adapt fairly well to the new online testing system. As a teacher, I was little nervous to see how they would adapt to it. But, all went well,” said Struthers Middle School sixth grade language arts teacher Erica Loew.

“I thought it went fairly well. The kids were able to get on and log in and do what they needed to do,” said Struthers Middle School sixth grade language arts teacher Amy Thompson.

The online assessments will start in February 2015.


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