by German Lopez
Posted In: Education
at 04:29 PM | Permalink
Tougher tests seek to prepare students for college, careers
The Ohio Graduation Tests will soon be no more. The
Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and Board of Regents have agreed to
tests with a focus on preparing students for college and beyond.
Michael Sawyers, acting superintendent for ODE, praised
the agreement in a statement: “This is a major step forward in our
reform efforts to ensure all Ohio students have the knowledge and skills
necessary to leave school remediation-free and ready for their
post-secondary experience in higher education or workforce training.”
Private companies will soon be able to
compete for a contract to design and help implement the new
standardized tests. The tests are expected to kick in during the
2014-2015 school year, but state officials acknowledge they could be implemented in time for the 2013-2014 school year if competitive bidding goes well and funding is sufficient. Once the tests are active, high school sophomores will take end-of-year tests to gauge
college and career readiness. The tests will cover English, algebra,
geometry, biology, physical science, American history and American
The reform is part of a bigger effort that reworks Ohio’s education system with higher standards for schools and
students. As part of the broader changes, Ohio adopted the Common Core State Standards,
which are a commitment to raise the bar on English and math standards
for grades K-12.
The overall idea behind the reform has relatively bipartisan support, says Kelsey Bergfeld, a
legislative service commission fellow for Ohio Sen. Tom Sawyer.
Sawyer, a Democrat, is the ranking minority member in the Ohio Senate’s
The problem is in the details — specifically, the details
in a new school report card system established by HB 555, which will be voted on in the Ohio House
next week. Bergfeld says the current proposal by Ohio Republicans is
too harsh, which could make schools look worse than they are in reality.
That problem could be exacerbated by the new tests, she says: If the new tests are too tough, they could make schools and students look bad “because grades
are going to drop.”
An early simulation of tougher report card standards in May
found Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) would fall under the new system.
The simulation showed CPS would drop from the second-best rating of
“Effective” under the current system to a D-, with 23 schools flunking
but Walnut Hills High School retaining its top mark with an A.
1 Comment · Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Villagers in Russia’s Sverdlovsk region have discovered
four barrels containing 248 human fetuses preserved in formaldehyde in a
forest in the Ural Mountains. Police suspect a nearby hospital dumped
the barrels. WORLD -2
by German Lopez
Northern Ohio counties are starting to
receive $19 million from Cleveland casino tax revenue. Cincinnati and Hamilton can
expect a similar revenue boon next year when the Horseshoe Casino opens
on Feb. 2013. Of course, the casino (and its revenue) could have been
coming this year, but Gov. John Kasich blocked construction last year to
protect his tax plan. The Enquirer
over the weekend did an investigative piece on ER
“superusers” — individuals who can sometimes cost the health-care system
as much as $1.3 million due to a lack of health insurance. Hospitals
have said that this "charity care" could be curtailed by Obamacare's
Medicaid expansion and save the state money, but Kasich claims the
Medicaid expansion is too costly for the state.
The Ohio Board of Regents is considering banning smoking on all public
campuses. Smoking is already banned in buildings, but health concerns
may lead to a bigger ban.
Toledo Public Schools used “scrubbing” to improve report card scores.
The Board of Education claimed such cheating could be a “state-level
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown and his Republican opponent Josh Mandel have settled on a day to debate: Oct. 15.
Former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin was inducted into the Hall of Fame
Sunday. Here’s CityBeat’s C. Trent Rosecrans’ column offering current
players’ thoughts on Larkin.
The Great Ohio River Swim was postponed Saturday because of high bacteria levels. Not very surprising.
In science news, a European agency became the first in the Western world
Friday to approve a gene therapy treatment for a rare genetic disease.