Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What Has Changed & What Stays The Same 2015-2016

Char's Testing Resource Page for 2015-2016 can be found here bit.ly/OHTests1516

"Be the change." 
There is an undercurrent of change that runs through education and carries along with it the constant need to adjust and update to new classroom conditions, new standards, new assessments, new teaching strategies, new students and new colleagues.

This summer in Ohio brought about a number of changes to the plan for Ohio State Tests.  These changes were based on the input of teachers, parents and community members who wanted a shorter test aligned to Ohio Standards that could be given on one testing platform closer to the end of the school year.   Ohio teachers will be working side by side with the Ohio Department of Education and AIR to build Ohio State Tests for ELA and math.  These new tests will join our existing Ohio State Tests for science and social studies and will be given this year.   The good news is that Ohio teachers and students already have taken tests on the AIR technology platform.  Districts who have been working to add devices and build infrastructure will be able to still give online tests. Paper and Pencil versions of all the tests will also continue to be available.

In addition to the change in the testing platform, new Safe Harbor provisions that put a hold on the use of Ohio State Test results in teacher evaluation,  will allow teachers the opportunity to focus on instruction and on revising classroom assessments to better gather evidence of student learning.  Achievethecore.org has excellent resources for teachers to use to continue to change their instructional practice to meet the depth of our standards and develop assessments to match to these standards.

There are a number of key pieces in Ohio education that are staying the same.  Our Ohio Learning Standards have been in place since 2010 and Ohio teachers continue to locally develop lessons around these more challenging standards.  Instruction that meets the needs of all students will always be the main priority in Ohio classrooms. Good Formative Instruction and Assessment are essential to planning instruction that helps all students succeed. Teachers have been using formative assessment to make changes in instruction to immediately meet the needs of their students.   Parents are partners in the education of their children. The Ohio PTA is working to continue to support parents as districts move forward with the new Ohio State Tests.

All of the work Ohio teachers and administrators did last year to make the shift to the new, computer based, standards aligned tests has helped to build a solid base for the 2015-2016 tests.   This year, we can keep our focus on instruction.

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