POLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – Superintendents across the Valley are warning parents not to worry about their child’s standardized testing report card, even though the scores are expected to go down.
This form of testing started in 2001 with No Child Left Behind.
The Valley School Superintendents sent an email to parents and leaders about the results, which will be released Thursday. It said they shouldn’t “jump to conclusions” about the scores.
Mahoning County Educational Service Center Superintendent Ron Iarussi says that while it’s not an excuse for poor scores, the tests have changed multiple times and it can be difficult to compare grades and judge scores.
“It’s hard to compare apples to apples because we didn’t have those tests in previous years. There’s something new and we have baseline data now to take a look at with new tests.”
He says they have to change that baseline data every time the state changes the test.
The Ohio Department of Education acknowledges this. Its website about the report cards says:
We recognize that Ohio’s assessment system is in transition, so the results on the report cards should be viewed in that context. We must learn what we can from the results but also examine other indicators of our progress and success.
East Palestine Superintendent Traci Hostetler isn’t having any of it.
“The press release was just, instead, to make our community aware that those scores are not indicative of the quality of education some kids are receiving,” she said. “Instead, they’re indicative of the target being moved while districts operate, somewhat blinded, to the state’s expectations.”
Amy Davies, who was a teacher at Poland for 21 years, echoes the sentiments of a number of parents: these tests and grades are not true indicators of their child’s success.
She says she would rather see students spend their time on other things.
“Allowing the teachers to use their time, and be creative and hands-on instead of worrying about markers on a test.”
A Poland parent says that their child would rather learn how to balance a checkbook.
Many also say they’re frustrated with the way their child is being taught. They feel as if the kids are being taught lessons just to pass a test.This story is corrected to show that Traci Hostetler is the superintendent at East Palestine.