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Ohio House Passes Testing Reduction Act

HeadlinerOn Thursday, May 29, 2020, the Ohio House passed House Bill 239 with strong, bipartisan support by a vote of 78-14.  The bill, jointly sponsored by Representatives Gayle Manning (R- North Ridgeville) and Erica Crawley (D- Columbus) seeks to reduce the amount of time that students spend on tests required by the state and local school districts in effort to restore instructional time to the classroom.    OEA strongly supports HB 239 and would like to thank the sponsors for their hard work on the legislation as well as all House members who supported the bill.

Prior to its passage, the bill was amended several times this week.  In its final hearing before the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee, two amendments were added to the bill.  One amendment reduced the number of state-required end-of-course exams by combining the assessments in American History and American Government into a single test.  The second amendment exempts the 2020-2021 school year from the student retention requirement tied to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.  The bill was approved unanimously by the Committee.  On the House floor, the bill was amended to make student participation in the ACT/SAT voluntary.  However, the state will continue to offer a paid administration of the test for high school juniors who choose to take it.

As passed by the House, the bill now includes the following provisions:

  • Require school districts to convene a local work group made up of teachers, parents, and administrators to examine district-required testing and make recommendations for ways to reduce the amount of time students spend taking tests.
  • Reduce the number of high school end-of-course exams by combining American History and American Government assessments into a single test.
  • Alter the existing provision that allows local school boards to pass a resolution to exceed testing limits by requiring that such action be taken on an annual basis and be reported to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).
  • Provide that the state continues to offer administration of the ACT/SAT tests for high school juniors, but student participation would be voluntary.
    Exempt the 2020-2021 school year from student retention tied to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
  • Require that ODE issue an annual report on the time spent on state- and district-required testing in Ohio’s schools.

House Bill 239 will now advance to the Ohio Senate.  You can urge your State Senators to support this important legislation by clicking here.

GRANT APPLICATIONS!

Do you have ideas to improve student learning and experiences? Start thinking about the following grants!

The work of the Ohio Educational Foundation is to fund initiatives that enhance student learning, student achievement, and well-being, as well as promote social justice.

  1. Diversity Grants — To develop and pursue instructional classroom programs or curriculum that promote diversity, tolerance, and respect for humankind.
  2. Innovation Grants — For the pursuit of innovative and creative practices where learning is enriched by experiences or projects.
  3. Whisper Grants — Direct assistance to an OEA student-member with an identified hardship in meeting an educational or personal need. The Whisper is a rolling initiative and can be applied for when needed. This grant can be used for such things as glasses, coats, other medical or educational enhancements.

Applications will be due around February.

Moratorium Declared on State School Takeovers New Ohio Graduation Rules Ready

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190716/moratorium-declared-on-state-school-takeovers-new-ohio-graduation-rules-ready

 

“The state budget deal imposing a moratorium on new Academic Distress Commissions tacitly admits what educators, parents and students have known all along—that state takeovers don’t work. Sadly, the legislature leaves the communities of Youngstown, Lorain and East Cleveland languishing under a failing law until they can finally figure out how to give districts struggling with high levels of poverty the support they need. As we continue the fight to pass HB 154 to repeal state takeovers and restore local control, I am deeply disappointed in the decision to allow CEOs to continue wreaking havoc on our schools.” 

Scott Dimauro, Ohio Education Association President, 7/16/2019, Facebook