As educators, OEA members are greatly concerned about the amount of testing that Ohio’s students endure. Excessive testing has led to a loss of instructional time in the classroom and lost educational opportunities for students. OEA has been urging state lawmakers to do more to address this issue and, with the introduction of new legislation this week, it’s clear that legislators are listening.
On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, the Testing Reduction Act (HB 239) was introduced in the Ohio House. The bill, sponsored by Representatives Gayle Manning (R- North Ridgeville) and Erica Crawley (D- Columbus), is bipartisan legislation that makes important changes to Ohio law to reduce state-required testing and bring together teachers, parents and administrators in each school district to take steps to further reduce the testing load on students. OEA strongly supports this legislation.
Specifically, HB 239 would make the following changes:
- Reduce state-mandated standardized tests to the federal minimums by eliminating four high school end-of-course exams. (Geometry, ELA I, American History, American Government)
- Require school districts to convene a local work group made up of teachers, parents and administrators to examine district-required testing and make recommendations for ways to reduce testing time for students.
- Alter the existing provision that allows local boards of education to pass a resolution to exceed testing limits by requiring such action be taken on an annual basis and reported to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).
- Require that ODE issue an annual report on the time spent on state- and district-required testing in Ohio’s schools.
- Provide that the state continues to offer a paid administration of the ACT/SAT for high school juniors, but student participation would be voluntary.
Urge your representative to support this important bill. It’s vital they hear from educators like you! Please adapt the sample letter below with why you support HB 239 and urge them to do the same.