Bill to limit testing gets Ohio educators’ backing

The new tests associated with Common Core have Ohio schools experiencing “unprecedented chaos” and loss of instructional time, Licking Valley Heights Superintendent David Hile told lawmakers yesterday.

While the state is requiring that districts give tests that are ultimately not used to guide instruction, partially because results take too long to come back, Licking Valley and many other districts, Hile said, are spending money on other tests. They include the Measures of Academic Progress to monitor progress, tests for the third-grade reading guarantee, and tests to identify gifted students.

“We use the state test data for none of these purposes,” he said.

Hile testified in support of House Bill 74, a wide-ranging bill designed to reduce testing in Ohio and alter a system in which the Common Core-aligned PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) tests are given for language and math in grades three through eight and as a replacement for the Ohio Graduation Test starting with this year’s ninth-graders.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Brenner, R-Powell, seeks to give districts more control over testing options and teacher evaluations, limit end-of-course exams, and require the state to identify tests that can be used for multiple purposes.

Paul Imhoff, superintendent of Upper Arlington schools, testified along with Granville Superintendent Jeff Brown to push for elimination of a measure on student growth, known as value-added data, as half of a teacher’s evaluation. Instead, a principal should rate a teacher’s effectiveness in using value-added data to improve instruction, they argued.

(Read more at the Dispatch)