Ohio might allow some school districts to develop their own tests

Amid growing complaints about new state tests for students, the Ohio Department of Education announced a plan Monday that could allow alternative assessments in some high-performing schools.

The Innovative Learning Pilot is the latest effort by state officials to alter, scale back or dump tests that cost about $50 million to develop and administer, and first given to students last month.

Under the pilot, the Ohio Department of Education will ask federal regulators to allow a group of 15 school districts to develop their own tests. They are all STEM and Innovation Lab Network schools, including Reynoldsburg’s STEM Academy, Metro Early College High School in Columbus and Marysville Early College High School.

If approved by the U.S. Department of Education, schools could begin piloting the new exams in the 2016-2017 school year. Additional schools also could seek to use alternative tests.

“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 Richard A. Ross, superintendent of public instruction, in a release.

(Read more at Star Beacon).