A lot of Ohio’s schools have been forced to close during the miserable weather the state has experienced recently. Some schools have run out of snow days. The Ohio legislature is working on a plan to allow more of those. But the absences from school have created another concern: Whether students will be prepared to take state-mandated tests this spring. In an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles, John Charlton from the Ohio Department of Education explains that organization is thinking about delaying those tests.
CHARLTON: "There are some preliminary discussions involving potentially expanding the testing window for the Ohio Achievement Assessments...Ohio Achievement Assessments are given to students in three through eight, and the idea would be to give them as much classroom time as possible before they would have to sit down take those assessments. The idea -- they’ve missed a lot of school already, but certainly maybe we can help them out a little bit by maybe getting them an extra week of class before they have to take those assessments."
INGLES: "Now when are they supposed to be taking those?"
CHARLTON: "The spring administration of the OAA starts on Monday, April 21 and ends on Friday, May 9. So there’s about a three week period there where they can take those assessments. And probably what might happen if that window is expanded, maybe they would add a week on to the end of that so that districts would have the option to maybe move their test dates within that window back a little bit."
INGLES: "Now this wouldn’t affect the Ohio Graduation test, then?"
CHARLTON: "The Ohio Graduation Test would be very difficult to move, just because of trying to get the results back in time for students to see if they are eligible to graduate or not. The spring administration of the Ohio Graduation Test is set for March 10 through March 23, and the results are supposed to be back on May 12. And really, a lot of schools are going to be having their graduations close to that, so they really have to get those results back as soon as possible. So it makes it really difficult to push that window or extend that window for the OGTs."
Charlton says students begin taking the graduation test in their sophomore year so many don’t have to take it in their junior or senior years if they had passed all parts of it earlier. State Superintendent Richard Ross has the authority to expand the test dates but the Ohio General Assembly would have to extend the deadline in Ohio law for reporting test results. Charlton says that measure could be added to the legislation now under consideration that would allow schools to take more calamity days this year.