Advocacy Update 6.9.17 – Testing Committee Finishes Work; State Board Preview; New Ohio ESSA Documents

Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Assessments – The Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Assessments finished up its work this week by reviewing recommendations on state assessments discussed last week and determining a few new recommendations on local assessments. The top five state assessment recommendations will be included in a report to State Superintendent, Paolo DeMaria, who will in turn make his recommendations to the State Board of Education and the General Assembly. The document with all of the recommendations which are stratified in tiers based on the amount of committee support can be accessed at The top recommendation, which received 21 committee member votes, would eliminate fourth and sixth-grade social studies assessments, American history and American government end-of-course exams, and one of two end-of-course exams in both math and English. It would also eliminate of the fall administration of the third grade ELA assessment, if the third grade reading guarantee retention language is removed by the General Assembly. As noted last week, this recommendation could well result in a return to double or inappropriate testing for middle school students taking high school courses.

This recommendation as well as the others would need changes to the Ohio Revised Code. If that were to happen, it would likely be included in the state budget bill, HB49 which is currently being redrafted in the Ohio Senate and is scheduled for a vote in the Ohio Senate next week. (The Senate sub bill is expected to include new budget cuts as the state revenue projections continue to decline.)

The committee also took some time to generate recommendations on local assessments. The top two recommendations were for ODE to create and provide guidance/resources to districts to conduct assessment audits and for ODE to develop a list of assessments that can be used for multiple purposes. Finally the committee brainstormed ideas for long term consideration including:

  • Developing adaptive testing.
  • Creating the ability for students to take assessments when they’re ready in a competency-based system.
  • Creating instant assessment results, with disaggregated data.
  • Developing instructional maps showing where to go next based on assessment data.
  • Developing a variety of testing formats, including performance-based assessments, computer-based tests and pencil-and-paper formats.
  • Developing a comprehensive, overall assessment strategy.
  • Requiring testing for all schools receiving public funding.

With the work of the assessment committee complete, some of the members will be asked to be part of a new stakeholder group developing a new ODE strategic plan. It is unclear whether anyone from the gifted community will be asked to be part of the new groups being formed.

State Board of Education to Meet – The State Board of Education will meet Sunday, June 11th – Tuesday, June 13th. The business meeting will be held on Monday morning. The remainder of the meeting will be held on the 31st floor of the Vern Riffe center where a team from the Ohio School Board Association will lead work sessions on such topics as, “Why are we here and what is our purpose½”

New Ohio ESSA Documents Available for Review and Comment  – The Ohio Department of Education released new ESSA documents for review and comment. The documents can be accessed at ODE will take emailed comments to [email protected]  through June 20, 2017. The draft will be presented to the State Board at their July meeting.