The Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 74 yesterday with broad bipartisan support. HB 74, sponsored by State Representative Andrew O. Brenner (R-Powell), would revise the state assessments and examinations given to Ohio’s students.
Overall, the bill is expected to reduce testing time by 50 percent while ensuring continued local control over assessments used by schools and districts. HB 74 aims to move Ohio away from a one-size-fits-all approach in favor of a more efficient operation of state assessments for local schools. Additionally, the bill provides a deadline for the completion of the ongoing review of academic content standards.
“During the course of this bill, we have heard from upset parents, stressed out students, and concerned teachers regarding the huge burden of the new standardized tests," Brenner said. "Students shouldn't be spending five months taking tests, and schools don't have the resources the PARCC exams require. This bill moves us one step closer to balancing measuring results with common sense."
Major provisions included in HB 74 are as follows:
- Reduces the administration time for state assessments
- Test administration time increased approximately 120 percent for the current school year over the 2013-2014 school year due to the new assessments
- Allows greater local control over decision making with regards to assessments used to inform instruction
- Delays online testing and a requirement that the Ohio Department of Education evaluate districts’ technology needs for test administration
- Prohibits state restrictions on local testing
- Requires the Ohio Department of Education to identify assessments that can be used for multiple purposes allowing local schools to reduce testing time
- Increases local control over teacher evaluations
- Requires teacher and administrative input in the selection of state assessments
- Requires that new state assessments for the 2015-16 school year be selected based on ease of administration and overall quality, as well as performance benchmarks and cost
- Requires the Ohio Department of Education to study the impact of online administration of state assessments and report to the General Assembly and the governor no later than June 30, 2016
House Bill 74 now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.