Next Generation Assessments
I had the opportunity to meet many community members and discuss one of my favorite topics: education. During the conversations it was evident we have a community that truly cares about our students and supports our school. Many of these discussions led to questions about the new testing requirements in Ohio. I wanted to begin by providing you with some background on these changes.
This year the state of Ohio has made several changes to how districts will test students from grades 3-9. While there are many names for these tests, such as PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments, AIR (American Institutes of Research), and end-of-course exams, they are all considered as the “Next Generation Assessments.”
As a school district we are obligated to implement requirements that have been passed by our Ohio lawmakers. We have been working for the past five years to prepare for the new standards being taught in math, language arts, science, and social studies. As the educational leader of this district, I can assure you our students are prepared to take the assessments as given this year.
Beginning last year, Loveland began using the MAP test as a way to inform our instruction and plan for student success. The skills required on the MAP test are similar to those required by the new state assessments. Students in the younger grades have been participating in brief typing tutorials. Additionally, the teachers have access to programs that mimic the technology tasks they will encounter within the format of the test.
With the implementation of these tests the district will be testing students more often than in the past. Historically we tested students in a two day time period. Now we will be testing students on eight separate days.
As an educator, I am concerned about the amount of days we will be testing. I believe that we need to be held accountable, but I also believe we could find a reduced-testing balance that allows us to maximize our instructional opportunity. I am working with legislators, state board members, and other administrators to try to create a system that does not take away from the instructional days. If you are concerned about the new testing, I encourage you to contact local representatives and state school board members. They are in a position to help.
I want to thank the many people I spoke with this week. I appreciate your concerns and the support for our district. We must remember that our district is not judged by the tests given by the state, but the quality of instruction our students receive. We have a great community, great teachers, and wonderful students who achieve great things each and every year. That will never change.
Dedicated to the future of our students,
Loveland City School District Superintendent