Advocacy Update 4.20.17 – Superintendent’s Assessment Committee Tackles Local Assessments; State Budget Woes

Assessment Advisory Committee Update — The Superintendent’s Assessment Advisory Committee met on April 18th. The agenda largely was dominating by a presentation from committee member, Neil Gupta, whose district participated in a pilot program with four other Central Ohio school districts to conduct district audit assessments. His presentation is posted at  under the 4.18.17 meeting documents under the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee 2017 heading. Dr. Gupta warned the committee that while the audit yielded very useful information for the district, it did not result in the elimination of any assessments. The process, however, did bring a better awareness and understanding of district assessments among both staff and parents. Dr. Colleen Boyle, Gifted and Talented Supervisor for Columbus City Schools, also spoke to the committee to provide some insight on universal gifted screening, the use of assessments for multiple purposes, and the gifted identification gap between minority and/or economically disadvantaged students with those students who are not. Committee members wanted to know who decided which assessments could be used to identify gifted students and why the process used to select those instruments couldn’t be streamlined to also be used for OTES and other purposes. Other questions had to do with how gifted identification was funded and what gifted assessments were required for identification before the new standards were adopted.

The committee split up into multiple groups for the last ten minutes of the meeting to brainstorm ideas on how to streamline local assessments. The group was then given the results of the last meeting brainstorming session on state assessments. This list is available at the above link. The next meeting will be held on May 2nd. The group will work with the brainstorming list on state assessments to develop recommendations and action items on state assessments.

State Budget Deliberations to Begin Again with Budget Shortfall Looming – After a two week spring break, the General Assembly will be back next week to discuss the biennial budget. Given the recent announcement  that $800 million must be eliminated from the two year proposal, deliberations will likely take a more serious look at where cuts will be made as opposed to previously hoped-for program expansions. The Ohio House is expected to release a sub bill in the next week which will likely include these cuts. The Ohio Senate will also continue to hold hearings on the bill.