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LESS TESTING

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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 15 2015 at 2:36pm

Posted: 1:47 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015

Less testing for Ohio students recommended by Department of Education

By Breaking News Staff

    The amount of time students spend on testing can be reduced by nearly 20 percent under recommendations made today by the state superintendent of public instruction as part of a comprehensive report.

    The legislatively-required report – based upon a survey of testing practices in hundreds of Ohio districts and schools – suggests the elimination of certain tests used for teacher evaluations plus reductions in other tests taken by students in early grades. Many of the changes would require legislative action.

    “I am committed to improving testing efficiency and reducing the testing burden on students while maintaining accountability in our schools,” said Richard A. Ross, superintendent of public instruction at the Ohio Department of Education. “These recommendations are in the best interest of students. They will reduce testing and increase instructional time for Ohio’s boys and girls.”

    In preparing the report, the department of education surveyed districts, spoke with teachers and stakeholders and analyzed testing data. The survey indicated that the average student spends 19.8 hours testing per year, or approximately 1 to 3 percent of their school year. The survey also indicated that students spend approximately 15 additional hours on practice tests each year.

    Legislative recommendations include:

• Limiting the amount of time a student takes state and district tests to 2 percent of the school year and limiting the time spent practicing for tests to one percent of the year.

• Eliminating the fall third grade reading test but providing a summer administration of the test for students who need it.

• Eliminating the state’s requirement that districts give math and writing diagnostic tests to students in first through third grade.

• Eliminating the use of student learning objectives as part of the teacher evaluation system for teachers in grades Pre-K through 3 and for teachers teaching in non-core subject areas in grades 4 through 12.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 16 2015 at 6:55am
Yeah, that's a good idea. Let's have less interaction time with the students and less accountability for all concerned.

I thought, at one time, there was a suggestion that year around school be initiated as more class time was thought to be a fixitive to improve performance. Gone by the wayside, probably because it would have meant more effort on the part of the teachers, admin, etc. God forbid that the school people should have to work a full year like the rest of us must do, right.

Business as usual in the academic world. Not too much effort now. Wouldn't want to try too hard to change it for the better now would we.

Globally, we are way down the list in performance compared to other countries. Don't hear the Japanese complaining about the extra time in the classroom to maximize success for the kids. They kinda have a "whatever it takes to succeed" approach don't they. And it shows in their academic discipline and accomplishments doesn't it.

But, then again, our leaders don't try to emulate success but rather keep trying the same old failed ideas. Place the old finger in the light socket and get shocked and do it again hoping not to get shocked a second time. Stupidity at it's finest.   
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2015 at 6:09am
New state testing begins in 3 weeks for Ohio students
By Hannah Poturalski

Staff Writer

BUTLER COUNTY —
Ohio students will enter a new world of school testing in three weeks, with state exams that feature a longer, two-part structure, will be taken largely online for the first time, and will measure the ability to apply concepts more than memorize.

The Ohio Department of Education showed reporters a sampling of new Common Core-based test questions Tuesday, for tests that begin the week of Feb. 16.

Fourth graders were asked to read a passage and identify not just the theme of the story, but also the context clues that helped them get the answer. Third-grade math students were asked to calculate the area of rectangles, compare them to other rectangles, then recalculate the area if the rectangles were combined, and show their work.

“This isn’t a memorize test. This is a concepts, skills and how-do-you-apply-your-knowledge kind of test,” said Char Shryock, Leader of the Ohio Educator Leader Cadre, a group that has helped implement Ohio’s new learning standards over the past three years.

New tests

This spring, Ohio largely replaces the years-old Ohio Achievement Assessments and Ohio Graduation Test with Common Core-based tests, most of them from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

All students in grades three through eight will take reading and math tests. Grades five and eight will take science tests, while grades four and six will take social studies tests. High school sophomores and up are grandfathered into the OGT, while this year’s freshmen take the new tests. Those new high schoolers will take a total of seven subject tests, spread over their first three years of high school (taking the Algebra 1 test whichever year they take that class, for example).

Much of that is similar to the existing structure. But one of the biggest differences is the two-part test. In each tested subject, students will take “performance-based tests,” with more open-ended questions and explanation required, between Feb. 16 and March 20. Then they’ll take end-of-course tests, with more traditional multiple choice questions, between April 13 and May 15.

For that third-grade math “test,” there are actually four testing sessions — two 75-minute units in the performance-based window, and two more in the end-of-course window.

Academic preparation

Districts had a choice between administering the tests online this spring, or opting for a final year of paper and pencil tests.

All spring assessments in Middletown will be administered on Chromebooks and a limited number of Mac computers, said Deborah Houser, curriculum coordinator for Middletown City Schools.

In Fairfield, the district’s spring assessments will also be completely online, except for a few students whose needs dictated a paper and pencil assessment, said Lani Wildow, director of curriculum and instruction for Fairfield.

Last spring and summer, the Middletown district participated in three field tests of the new English language arts and mathematics assessments from the PARCC.

To prepare, students in Middletown have also been taking online practice tests and tutorials on how to use the various tools within the online testing system, such as the highlighting and bolding of text, using the graphing calculator, ruler and protractor, and a text-to-speech accommodation.

“You don’t want them to figure it out the day of,” Houser said. “The more you have them on computers, the more tech savvy they become.”

Houser said while students have quickly caught onto the online tools, they still struggle with the keyboard and typing essay responses.

“They are still on single stroke; we’ve had to renew our focus,” Houser said, adding the technology department compiled online keyboarding sites for teachers to integrate into instruction.

Janet Baker, superintendent of Hamilton City Schools, said she feels “very confident” the district is prepared for the upcoming PARCC testing.

Baker said elementary students will still take paper and pencil versions, while students on the secondary levels will participate in online testing.

“We have also participated in the state’s pilot testing to gain a better understanding of what to expect,” Baker said. “We have invested in additional technology and infrastructure to ensure that it will support the new requirements.”

Districts across Ohio, including Fairfield and Middletown, will participate in an “infrastructure trial” Thursday with students simulating the online assessments to test Wi-Fi and bandwidth capabilities, according to school officials.

Many school districts will participate in a state-organized test-run on Thursday to see whether computer networks can handle the massive numbers of students taking online tests at the same time.

On the whole, state officials expressed confidence in the new tests Tuesday. ODE spokesman John Charlton said the tests were developed with thousands of hours of input from Ohio educators and will “effectively measure achievement across all levels.”

Some local educators, however, say the process of switching to the new tests has been rushed.

“We have made a valiant effort (to prepare students),” said Springfield City Schools Superintendent David Estrop. “Are they adequately prepared? We’ll find out when they take the test. My suspicion is, like New York state before us, the results are going to be abysmal. The only way that won’t happen is if the state adjusts the cut score down, permitting more children to pass.”

In New York, only 31 percent of students scored “proficient” in the first year of that state’s Common Core math and reading tests


OH BOY. QUE THE SONG "BAD MOON RISING" BY CREEDENCE CLEARWATER FOR THIS ONE. HOPE ISON'S CLAIMS THAT THINGS ARE IMPROVING IS TRUE. OTHERWISE, WE ARE PROBABLY GOING TO SEE THE SAME OLD SAME OLD.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Factguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2015 at 10:54am
Understand teacher union is upset BOE did Mr. Ison's contract recently because they knew the Common Core testing would reflect very bad results, which would have undermined his rehiring.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2015 at 11:27am
Originally posted by Factguy Factguy wrote:

Understand teacher union is upset BOE did Mr. Ison's contract recently because they knew the Common Core testing would reflect very bad results, which would have undermined his rehiring.
\\

Ison has been the super for two years now. The scores should have shown some upward trends, and, according to Ison's statement, they have. I don't see any measureable improvement and I'd like for him to explain in detail how he arrives at the improvement conclusion. If he, like Ms. Andrew, is using only the "value added" category, (where it just so happens the district did improve), both of them are using the ONLY positive piece of data to claim they are a success. That is a false interpretation of the OVERALL results. The Ison supporters must be looking at a different set of scores than what is reported in the Journal and on the Ohio school's website.

If part of Ison's double dip rehire is based on improving the district, then he fails the test. I suspect the real rehire criteria was based on his support and effort on getting the bond levy passed which he did accomplish. It certainly can't be anything else as his overall evaluation is sorely lacking in positive content.

Apparently new building levy approvals trump school performance results in this district.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Factguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2015 at 12:23pm
Had shared some inside information gathered behind doors in BOE executive sessions. Real reason rehire was done was they didn't want to interview anyone, too much time, too much money. And, state has a general policy a superintendent's main function is to pass levies and especially ones getting new buildings.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2015 at 1:11pm
Factguy, I don't know who you are, but you are clearly not a board of education member and the supposed inside information you posted is false.  That you are making things up is shown by your statement, "state has a general policy a superintendent's main function is to pass levies and especially ones getting new buildings."  The "state" -- whatever entity you mean by that, ODE, governor, legislators--has no policy whatsoever about the job description of a public school superintendent.  Local boards of education hire and fire superintendents with the only state requirement being that he/she have a superintendent's license.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2015 at 1:17pm
Originally posted by Factguy Factguy wrote:

Had shared some inside information gathered behind doors in BOE executive sessions. Real reason rehire was done was they didn't want to interview anyone, too much time, too much money. And, state has a general policy a superintendent's main function is to pass levies and especially ones getting new buildings.  


So the sole function of a super, by state policy, is to get levies passed even though he is in charge of and responsible for the educational efforts within a district? Incredible.

The school board didn't want to interview multiple candidates, with the possibility that one may have been a better fit and more effective than Ison, and, because it would take too much time and money? Seriously. What a ridiculous reason for not putting in an effort to potentially help this district. Settled, once again, on a cookie-cutter super with nothing more to offer than the last five or so we've had here. And, it would appear we also get a bonus with Ison as he doesn't seem to care whether he creates turmoil in the system or not......just like Price. Lazy, irresponsible, easy way out attitude on the school board's part. But, then again, no surprises here and, historically, I shouldn't expect any other course of action on their part either. Good Lord! Will we ever get a group of logical, correctly focused people in key positions in this city?
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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