Ohio to seek federal approval to pilot alternative testing

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Fifteen school districts in Ohio would be allowed to develop and administer their own standardized tests under a federal waiver state education officials were preparing Tuesday.

The request by the Ohio Department of Education would launch a pilot program aimed at addressing growing concern among parents, teachers and policymakers about state-administered assessments rolled out last month. Some parents concerned with the Common Core curriculum and testing fairness joined a national movement and opted their children out of the tests.

High-performing schools tapped for the pilot are all STEM or Innovation Lab Network schools known for innovative education approaches. Ohio law directed the department to extend the invitation to both types of schools to apply for the waivers, in the hopes they can carry some of that ingenuity into developing new exams.

“As Ohio offers more options that allow students with different interests and goals to choose their own pathways to success, I believe these alternative tests may give us an accurate view of what students on different pathways are learning,” said state Superintendent Richard Ross, announcing the initiative Monday.

If federal approval is granted, new tests would be in place for the 2016-2017 school year.

The move is among several steps Ohio has taken to address backlash not only to the Common Core, but to a growing list of education standards and test requirements that are taking teacher attention and classroom time.

Gov. John Kasich signed a law last month aimed at temporarily protecting students against the academic impacts of Ohio’s new proficiency tests, and a state Senate panel is working on longer term testing recommendations. Lawmakers are also considering a January recommendation by Ross to cut the time students spend on standardized tests by almost 20 percent.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s