breaking news

Various area school districts investigate vague shooting threats

Clark, Champaign school leaders welcome proposed state testing changes

Clark and Champaign County education leaders said they welcome a proposed reduction in state testing at both the state and school level.

Ohio State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria has called for three state tests to be eliminated — fourth-grade social studies, high school English I and high school American government — as well as eliminating the WorkKeys test for students hoping to earn a diploma via the industry credential pathway.

RELATED: State tests for Ohio students could change yet again

No vote was taken at a state school board meeting this week, but the recommendation by the leader of the Ohio Department of Education is a step in the right direction, Springfield City School District Superintendent Bob Hill and Graham Local Schools Superintendent Kirk Koennecke both said.

Previously the state had raised the stakes even higher when it comes to state testing. High school students must score well on the state tests or risk not graduating. Springfield school leaders have voiced concerns about many of their students not clinching enough points to pass — despite getting good enough grades in school. The previous changes could result in more than half of the district’s seniors not graduating in the future.

Statewide testing cannot determine how well a district teaches its students, Hill has said repeatedly, and getting rid of some of the testing is a good thing.

“Overall, I agree that any reduction in the amount of testing required by the state is beneficial for our students,” Hill said.

Springfield has been hit hard by state testing in the past, recording numerous failing grades. Hill, other district leaders and many on the local board of education, have continually said they don’t believe poor grades on state testing reflect the quality of education provided at Springfield City Schools.

MORE: Graduation tests show increased proficiency

“I also understand the concern with the natural connection that a reduction in testing will somehow cause a lesser quality education,” he said. “However, the concern of most educators is that the current testing system does not inform instruction and it does not provide educators with timely and meaningful data to address student needs.

“With that said, the current testing system is flawed and it simply becomes a compliance measure for school districts. Personally, I find it difficult to understand how a student, a teacher, or a school district can be judged on a single test that provides nothing more than a snapshot in time,” Hill said.

MORE: Urbana looks for improvements on state testing

Koennecke said he hopes the recommendation by the state superintendent is the beginning of continued change.

“I was thrilled to see it,” he said. “We have a state superintendent who is finally listening to school districts. He has gone around and done a lot of listening and is trying to make thoughtful recommendations.”

The tests that might be axed soon are tests that are redundant, Koennecke said, and he hopes that similar tests students have to take also get cut.

Hill said he hopes the state will continue to look into how to better judge a school.

“Until the state can develop a system that provides timely and meaningful data to educators, we are simply stuck in a system of compliance, but we welcome any and all reductions as associated with the current system of testing,” he said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

What is Graves’ disease? Wendy Williams opens up about her condition
What is Graves’ disease? Wendy Williams opens up about her condition

Fans of the “Wendy Williams Show” will have to watch re-runs for nearly a month, because the media maven is taking a three-week hiatus to treat her Graves’ disease.  >> Read more trending news  She made the announcement on air Wednesday, revealing that her doctor is requiring her to take a break from work to &ldquo...
Mysterious, unknown humming noise driving residents crazy for years
Mysterious, unknown humming noise driving residents crazy for years

Residents of a Canadian town have been plagued with a bizarre humming noise for years and say it’s completely wreaking havoc on the city. >> Read more trending news  The persisting humming has been going on for years and has been described as a similar sound as a truck idling or distant thunder. Some residents even say that the noise...
Alleged Florida high school shooter has $800,000 inheritance, reports say
Alleged Florida high school shooter has $800,000 inheritance, reports say

The alleged gunman in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last week in Parkland, Fla., has an inheritance from his adoptive parents worth $800,000, according to news outlets. >> Read more trending news  But Nikolas Cruz, 19, who now has a public defender at taxpayer expense as his attorney in his murder case, cannot access...
Boy ‘apologetic,’ faces charges after gun found at Springfield school
Boy ‘apologetic,’ faces charges after gun found at Springfield school

An 8-year-old Springfield student at Simon Kenton Elementary School faces charges for allegedly bringing an unloaded gun to the school. A teacher found the .380 semi-auto pistol in the student’s backpack while putting homework inside his backpack, according to Springfield Police Capt. Mike Kranz. The student will face a charge of possession of...
‘Bad Art’ raises money for Champaign County arts programs
‘Bad Art’ raises money for Champaign County arts programs

The Champaign County Arts Council is holding its sixth fundraiser to support community programs. Bad Art by Good People takes local leaders from the community and they create a work of art, said Executive Director Heath Brackney. None of them are professional artists, she said. Each local leader has the option to have a professional mentor and help...
More Stories