breaking news

Shots fired at Indiana middle school: reports

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

Mystery wolf-like creature stumps experts in Montana
Mystery wolf-like creature stumps experts in Montana

A large wolf-like animal shot and killed by a rancher near Denton, Montana, has left wildlife officials puzzled over what it was. >> Read more trending news  A rancher shot and killed the animal May 16 after it came within several hundred yards of his livestock, according to KRTV. He reported it to wildlife officials, as required...
5 tips for grilling safety on Memorial Day weekend
5 tips for grilling safety on Memorial Day weekend

Food poisoning peaks in the summer months when warmer temperatures cause foodborne germs to flourish, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of grilling season and is a major holiday that drives sales, including meat sales, at local grocery stores. Here are five tips from the CDC for...
Clark County Municipal Court cases
Clark County Municipal Court cases

CASES CALLED WEDNESDAY INCLUDED: Quentin K. Baxter, 25, of 1716 Catawba Ave., domestic violence, assault, dismissed - prosecutor request. Jacob Keith Callison, 20, of 1502 Mound St., domestic violence amended to menacing, guilty, 30 days jail with 30 days suspended, fine and cost due June 20. Charles P. Higginbotham, 44, of 1120 E. John St., Apt. 35...
Harvey Weinstein charged with rape, sex abuse; judge sets $10M bond
Harvey Weinstein charged with rape, sex abuse; judge sets $10M bond

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to authorities on Friday to face charges related to sexual abuse allegations in New York. Update 5/25 9:45 a.m.: A judge set a $10 million bond for Weinstein on Friday as he awaits trial on charges including rape and sex abuse. Weinstein was ordered to surrender his passport and to wear an electronic...
Active shooter reported at middle school in Noblesville, Indiana
Active shooter reported at middle school in Noblesville, Indiana

We’re following reports of an active shooter situation at a middle school north of Indianapolis in Noblesville, according to multiple reports.  Initial reports indicate shots have been fired at Noblesville West Middle School, located about 25 miles north of Indianapolis.  A tweet from the Noblesville Fire Department indicates a suspect...
More Stories