From the Superintendent
As you continue to finalize plans for this new school year, I want to make you aware of a few field tests that will take place this spring. This is nothing new for our students; Ohio’s assessment system has always included field-test questions.
The first of these field tests will be conducted by PARCC. In spring 2014, PARCC plans to field-test new English language arts and math assessments in selected schools in 20 states, including Ohio. Only a few classrooms in participating schools will take the tests, and most students will take only a limited portion of a content-area test. Although our plan is for all tests to be computer-based, some schools will field-test computer-based assessments and some will test paper-and-pencil assessments.
If any of your schools has been selected, you will receive notification soon from PARCC’s test vendor, Pearson. Please respond quickly so we can find a replacement school if one of your schools must decline.
The Ohio Department of Education will conduct the second field test. We have developed computer-based tests on Ohio’s New Learning Standards for science and social studies. We will field-test these in spring 2014 as well. We will notify you this fall if we select any of your schools to participate. Thank you ahead of time for you cooperation.
In addition, PARCC plans to provide all schools with computer-based practice tests in English language arts and math next spring. These practice tests will be similar to the field tests. Schools in your district can use them to get familiar with computer-based assessments, as well as the content and feel of the tests.
Finally, for the past two weeks, I’ve been talking to you about Ohio’s new Straight A Fund that sets aside $250 million for schools and districts with innovative ideas to increase student achievement or operational efficiencies. We will give you plenty of information and guidance leading up to the six-week application period ending in mid-October. Please be aware that the application period will be brief. Now is the time to start gathering your team, thinking about innovative ideas you want to undertake, and firming up thoughts and evidence you may want to present. Sign up here to get updates on the Straight A Fund as we make new information available.
Thank you for all you do for the boys and girls of Ohio.
Dr. Richard A. Ross
State Superintendent of Public Instruction