The Shakerite

Griffith Outlines Testing Regimen; Parents Voice Concerns

PTO+Council+handed+out+Test+Mania+stickers+at+the+meeting.
PTO Council handed out Test Mania stickers at the meeting.

PTO Council handed out Test Mania stickers at the meeting.

PTO Council handed out Test Mania stickers at the meeting.

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Parents who attended an Oct. 30 PTO-Council-organized meeting told Principal Michael Griffith that they would consider excusing their children from state-mandated tests.

“We as parents have the power. The whole [testing system] needs to come down,” said a parent at the meeting.

PTO Council held the meeting of around 40 parents, teachers and other faculty in the large auditorium to give Griffith an opportunity to provide concerned parents and teachers with a better understanding of the standardized testing taking place this school year and years to come.

Griffith began the meeting by explaining the ASPIRE test taken by sophomores earlier this year. The test helped to ready the sophomores for the ACT and was a precursor for tests this spring that use a similar online format. He also expressed concerns that the district had about administering online tests, such as the capability of the infrastructure and access to adequate materials such as computers and bandwidth.

Griffith spoke about the plan for the Ohio Graduation Test, as well. The current sophomore class and upperclassman who haven’t passed every portion of the test will be the last group to take the OGT, which will be replaced by Performance-Based Assessments. The OGT will take place in February and March.

The same time the OGT is being administered, freshmen will take the Performance-Based Assessments for the first time. They will be given after the second week of the second semester, meaning some students who have just begun a second semester class will have had two weeks of that class before being tested on the material. All freshmen, starting with the class of 2018, will take these tests.

Students in all grades took Student Learning Objective pre-tests, written by their teachers, at the beginning of the school year. They will take a SLO post-test in the spring to evaluate how much they’ve learned during the year.

AP and IB testing will also take place in May.

Parents and teachers got a chance to voice their opinions and raise questions after Griffith finished his remarks.

Some parents suggested they might opt their children out of tests such as PARCC and asked how that might affect the system.  Griffith urged parents to have their kids take the tests this year and see how it goes. With students not taking the test, the overall score of the district will be weakened which could potentially “punish the teacher,” one parent said.

An alternative to opting students out of these tests would be to write letters to the legislature and ask for change in the testing policies. PTO Council provided those in attendance with addresses, a template for writing letters and test mania stickers. They were encouraged to have their children send letters and inform parents in other districts as well.

Griffith said that with so many different tests being taken by different grades simultaneously, scheduling becomes an issue. He related organizing the requirements of each test to a chess board.

Griffith said, “If [the state] would just say to me, ‘you have a 20-day window for all these tests, make sure all the tests are turned in on a certain date,’ my life would be great.”

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Griffith Outlines Testing Regimen; Parents Voice Concerns