Standardized tests

U.S. Department of Education / Flickr

The Ohio Department of Educationhas released its new strategic plan on Tuesday. The department’s main goal is to increase the number of high school graduates enrolled in college, earning a living wage, learning a skilled trade, or in the military one year after graduation.

Here's a little pop quiz.

Multiple-choice tests are useful because:

A: They're cheap to score.

B: They can be scored quickly.

C: They score without human bias.

D: All of the above.

It would take a computer about a nano-second to mark "D" as the correct answer. That's easy.

But now, machines are also grading students' essays. Computers are scoring long form answers on anything from the fall of the Roman Empire, to the pros and cons of government regulations.

A classroom at Cleveland's John Hay High School.
Ashton Marra / Ideastream

A new Stanford University analysis of state and national test scores shows more Ohio students pass state exams than similar nationwide tests, which researchers say means the state’s proficiency standards are too low.

When Ohio’s scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress, or NAEP, exam were released last month, they showed almost no academic growth for Ohio fourth and eighth graders, much like the rest of the country.

In fact, Florida was one of the only states to show progress, especially with low-income and black students.

Pixabay

School districts around the state were forced to change their standardized testing schedules because of a system malfunction. Ohio’s testing vendor, the American Institutes for Research, told the state that students were not able to log-in and access their tests. 

Hundreds of students in Akron were among those prevented from beginning a state required exam Wednesday due to a computer glitch that impacted testing statewide. 

Testing resumed Thursday after a bug in the vendor’s system prevented students from logging in to their English Language Arts exams Wednesday.

A spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Education said ODE was notified Wednesday morning by AIR, the American Institutes for Research, of a problem with its log in system.

Stateboard of Education
Ashton Marra / ideastream

The Ohio Board of Education is recommending lawmakers reduce the number of exams students must take to graduate.

Which test is best? That’s the debate among state lawmakers as Ohio schools have completely phased out state tests taken with paper and pencil in favor of online testing only. 

Sen. Sherrod Brown Pushes For Cut In Duplicate Tests

May 26, 2015

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown Tuesday in Hilliard pushed for a reduction in duplicative testing in schools.  Brown pushed for legislation that would provide incentives for school districts to study existing local, state and federal tests to find ways to eliminate unnecessary exams. 

Brown says the program would also ensure school districts and parents receive test results in a timely manner so teachers can design instruction based on the results.

Flickr / Creative Commons

The Ohio Department of Education says it may allow some alternative standardized tests in some high-performing schools.

The pilot plan announced Monday would let 15 districts develop their own tests.

Schools in the pilot program include STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) academies in Columbus, Reynoldsburg, and Marysville.