Senate Bill 358 originally required the Ohio Department of Education to seek a federal testing waiver for spring 2021 like the one it got nine months ago, due to COVID-19 interruptions to regular school operations.
But the substitute version passed 8-1 Tuesday by the Senate Education Committee says the state superintendent “may” choose to submit a waiver request, after consulting with at least eight education community stakeholders. The next step is for the full Senate to vote on the bill, which could happen as soon as Wednesday.
A majority of those groups, including agencies representing teachers, superintendents and school boards, favor canceling state tests this year. But another of the stakeholders listed is the Ohio Excels business-education group, which has strongly opposed canceling state tests and was the group that pushed last month for stakeholder approval of any testing waiver.
State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria did not immediately respond Tuesday to questions about whether he would seek a testing waiver if the bill passes.