Bill would allow Ohio schools more time to give spring tests


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio schools still would have to administer nearly all the usual tests this spring
but would have an extra week in April or May to conduct most of those assessments in person under
legislation passed by the Ohio House in a bipartisan vote Thursday, weeks before the testing windows
The measure also would allow for canceling the state-required end-of-course exam in U.S. history this
year. And it would adjust rules for current high schoolers so final course grades from this year could
be used in lieu of end-of-course exams to meet graduation requirements.
Ohio lawmakers initially wanted to seek a federal waiver to skip required tests for the second straight
year amid the pandemic, but federal education officials indicated that wouldn’t be an option. They say
the tests are needed to help understand and address the pandemic’s impact on learning.
Instead, they’re offering some flexibility on when and how it’s done, and say states can apply to be
exempt from certain accountability measures linked to the results. The Ohio proposal would direct state
officials to seek that exemption.
The measure would meet federal requirements while providing schools what relief is available in light of
the guidance issued by President Joe Biden’s administration, said Rep. Adam Bird, a Republican from New
Richmond who sponsored the measure.
Some Democratic lawmakers criticized the updated bill for offering too little relief, and echoed
educators and families who have questioned the merits of having the tests just as some students are
returning to classrooms after a year of virtual learning. Teachers and administrators have noted they
use other evaluations throughout the year to gauge academic progress and can be more responsive with
that information than with standardized test results that aren’t released for months.
The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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