Shorter, less stressful tests are coming kids’ way this school year after Ohio’s disastrous experiment with PARCC exams, which drew complaints from parents statewide.
Schools will use American Institutes for Research tests instead in 2015-2016.
Like the assessments used prior to PARCC, the tests are only a couple of hours long and can be broken into multiple sessions.
AIR can be completed either online or with pencil and paper. Wellington Schools superintendent Dennis Mock said he isn’t quite sure yet which way students will be tested but believes they’ll go back to pencil and paper.
AIR tests how well students have learned the Common Core standards adopted by the Ohio Department of Education.
The Common Core defines what information students at various grade levels should learn in order to move to the next grade level.
Some groups oppose the Common Core, but more often than not the objections have focused on testing and not the content itself.
Mock isn’t a big believer in tests because each student learns at a different pace and state exams don’t always reflect that.
“I think one of the things they’ve done right now is eliminate some of the tests, which is good because it’s put a lot of stress not only on the students but the teacher, administrators, and parents,” he said.
But Mock is a strong supporter of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee and is a firm believer that all students must be able to read before moving past the third grade.
“Even if they said they need to read by second grade I’d be OK with that because if you can’t read you can’t continue and that’s across the board,” he said. “You have to be able to read the math problem, you have to be able to read the social studies question, and if you cant then you’re going to struggle.”
Wellington and districts across Ohio have yet to receive the results of the PARCC. It remains to be seen whether they’ll ever surface.
McCormick Middle School principal Craig Housum said the results are supposed to be released in January or February of next year, but he is uncertain what the district will do with the information.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter. Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.
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