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OEA applauds resolution on use of state testing data, but urges further action

[February 9, 2021] In light of the unprecedented challenges and changes to learning environments because of the global COVID-19 pandemic this academic year, the Ohio Education Association (OEA) was pleased with the proposed resolution put forth by State Board of Education Member Dr. Christina Collins this week to direct the Ohio Department of Education to limit how state testing data is used and interpreted. Dr. Collins’ full resolution can be downloaded here.

“Teaching never stops; learning never stops. However, we must be mindful of the fact that the pandemic has, as Dr. Collins put it, ‘affected every student in Ohio, disrupting the structure of teaching and learning’ this year,” OEA President Scott DiMauro said. “Dr. Collins’ calls to lower the stakes for state testing and ensure the results are appropriately labeled to reflect the circumstances under which testing is occurring this year are an important step in safeguarding our students, educators, and communities from unfair punishments as a result of this spring’s tests.”

Even so, OEA maintains a much more important measure would be to suspend standardized testing altogether, especially since they must be administered in person, even to students who have been learning remotely all year. Therefore, OEA urges lawmakers to quickly approve House Bill 67, bi-partisan legislation that would waive state testing requirements for the 2020-2021 school year and require the Department of Education to seek a waiver from federal testing requirements.

“While we certainly would prefer that tests not be given this year, given the yawning disparities in educational delivery the pandemic has created between districts, we deeply appreciate Dr. Collins’ efforts to minimize the harm these tests will thrust upon our students and fully support her resolution,” DiMauro said.

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