New Ohio tests source of anxiety, anger

Anxiety, if not downright anger, over new standardized school tests is on full display in Columbus and Toledo.

Schools across Ohio this winter administered the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exams, a series of online tests that replace the Ohio standardized tests. The tests were built to align with the Common Core State Standards, themselves a subject of scorn by some.

But the new tests, and their potential consequences, have created outcry from a broader segment, with enough opposition to catalyze legislation placed on Gov. John Kasich’s desk on Friday that would hold students harmless this year for any consequences of the tests.

Criticism of the tests center on their implementation, considered sloppy by some; their rigor, and just the sheer amount of time spent on assessment. Exams in reading and math and science — along with social-studies assessments developed with the American Institute for Research — are stretched out over weeks. Winter weather further pushed back regular classroom time.

“What I can say is that in my teaching career I have never experienced a time when so much instructional time has been spent on testing,” said Kay Wait, an instructional planner for Toledo Public Schools.

(Read more at the Toledo Blade).