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Local school leaders urging state to skip student exams for 2nd year

Michael D. Clark, Journal-News |

The possible resumption of student testing, which was cancelled last spring by coronavirus, has some area public school leaders urging a second year of skipping the exams. Most Ohio students take state reading and math tests each spring from third to eighth grade, science tests in fifth and eighth grade and end-of-course exams in seven subjects across their high school years.

“The middle of a pandemic is not the time to continue with the state assessments as they stand,” said Matt Miller, Lakota Schools superintendent.

“If ever there was a time to really evaluate how and what we value and measure, a global pandemic is it. Instead of prioritizing standardized tests, federal and state government should be giving schools the resources they need – like COVID tests and ventilation investments – to get children back to school,” said Jonathan Cooper, superintendent of Mason Schools.

Mike Holbrook, superintendent of Hamilton Schools, said he “endorses accountability in a meaningful manner (but) given the many challenges throughout the state of Ohio during a global pandemic, the idea of state assessments is something that must be reconsidered.”

And Madison Schools Superintendent Lisa Tuttle-Huff said any state testing this school year might be helpful as adding to the measurements of the many impacts of coronavirus on schools. “I believe there’s an increased need for us to be able to attain data that can inform us about the impacts of this pandemic on student learning, however, Madison teachers already are collecting data consistently and monitoring student progress,” said Tuttle-Huff.

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