Ohio report cards to reflect students who opted out of tests


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio education officials say district performance ratings for last year will reflect the impact of students who opted out of high-stakes standardized testing.

The Department of Education said Tuesday that district report cards for 2014-15 won’t count the missed tests against schools and districts. The change will apply for just one year – one that saw a national backlash against new, more rigorous examinations aligned with Common Core standards.

State Representative Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) and State Representative Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) applauded the announcement.

The change comes after a small percentage of districts and community schools experienced a significant decrease in student participation on state tests. Discussions with legislators, schools and other stakeholders found that a solution was needed to ensure that students who did not participate in state tests were excluded from the Performance Index Score. For 2014-15 report cards, ODE will provide additional information on a “modified achievement measure” for scores and grades. This will be calculated using data only for students who participated in state tests and therefore won’t include those who opted to not take the tests.

Superintendent Lonny Rivera said almost 99 percent of Ohio students took the tests, but the additional information would be provided to address concerns that non-participation could hurt districts’ performance scores.

“As a result of the failed PARCC test, many schools faced significant negative impacts on state report cards,” Buchy said. “I applaud the leadership at the Ohio Department of Education for providing an opportunity for Ohioans to compare schools on a level playing field.”

Staff report

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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