State Testing Updates

Information on geometry and middle school students enrolled in high school courses

Previous changes in state law impacted testing requirements for students, including the elimination of the geometry test as a graduation requirement. The law directed the Ohio Department of Education to seek a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to use Algebra I as the “primary assessment of high school mathematics.” Stakeholder feedback emphasized the importance of maintaining flexibility for middle school students taking high school courses for credit and for students utilizing the integrated math sequence. Ohio’s approved middle school double testing waiver maintains those important flexibilities. While geometry is no longer required for graduation purposes, it remains a required assessment for accountability. This webpage addresses frequently asked questions and provides example scenarios related to Ohio’s approved waiver.


GEOMETRY

The Department has received several questions regarding the continuation of geometry as a required assessment for accountability purposes. Below is a list of those frequently asked questions and answers.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is the geometry (or Integrated Math II) end-of-course test still required for students in Ohio high schools?
Yes, students in all graduation cohorts are required to take the geometry (or Integrated Math II) test.

Why is the geometry test still required? 
The geometry end-of-course test is needed to meet requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education and detailed in Ohio’s approved Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plan and subsequent middle school double testing waiver.

The administration of the geometry test allows Ohio’s schools to provide continued flexibility for middle school testing for mathematics. While the waiver maintains that Algebra I is the primary assessment, geometry still is included in the accountability system to meet testing requirements in high school. This waiver maintains Ohio’s flexibility to administer relevant high school tests to middle school students taking high school courses for credit, as well as avoiding double testing scenarios (which could occur when integrated math pathways are used).

When should the geometry test be offered to students?
A student should take the geometry (or integrated Math II) end-of-course test when the district or school determines the student has received enough instruction to be prepared to take the test. Ideally, students should have completed or have nearly completed the course in order to be successful on the end-of-course test. Completion or near completion of a course ensures that teachers have covered the relevant course content standards.

How does this impact students’ pathways to graduation?
At this point, geometry has no impact on the graduation pathway for students in the classes of 2023 and beyond. Though this test does not impact graduation, these students still must take this test. Students in prior graduating classes (2022 and before) also still must take the assessment, and the student’s score on the assessment can correlate to a point value on a student’s pathway to earning 18 total points on end-of-course tests.

Additional information on graduation requirements is available at: How does this impact a school’s report card?
Since the geometry end-of-course test meets requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education, the results of this test do factor into school and district accountability (i.e., school and district report cards). Student results on the geometry end-of-course test are factored into the Performance Index and the Indicators Met measures of the Achievement Component. (Note: Accountability flexibilities offered by the U.S. Department of Education for the 2020-2021 school year may impact how this data is reported.)


Geometry Test Scenarios

Some specific scenarios that schools may encounter related to the geometry test and information about the related impacts are addressed below:
  1. No standalone geometry course: My district will no longer offer geometry as a standalone course. The algebra standards are covered over a two-year period and geometry standards are incorporated into each of these courses. Do my students still need to take the geometry (or Integrated Math II) test even though they did not take a standalone geometry course?

    Yes. Students still must have a test record for geometry (or integrated Math II) reported in the Education Management Information System (EMIS) no later than the end of the fourth year of high school. While it is a local decision on when to administer the test and how to sequence the standards, all students must take one of the two tests (geometry or Integrated Math II) at some point in high school.


  2. Students not taking a geometry course: My district offers geometry, but some students will not take that course since it is not required for graduation. They plan to take a different math course where the geometry standards will not be covered. Are these students required to take the geometry end-of-course test even if they never take the course?

    Yes. Students must still have a test record for geometry (or Integrated Math II) reported in EMIS no later than the end of the fourth year of high school. While it is a local decision on when to administer the test and how to sequence the standards, all students must take one of the two tests at some point in high school.

     

  3. Transfer students in the class of 2023 and beyond: If a student in the class of 2023 or after transfers into my school district after having taken geometry in another state, do they still need to take the geometry assessment?

    No. This student is not required to take the geometry (or Integrated Math II) assessment unless they take geometry (or Integrated Math II) in Ohio. The minimum tests for students who transfer to Ohio in the class of 2023 and beyond are the Algebra I and English Language Arts II assessments to meet the required score for competency. Students must also take tests associated with any courses they take while in Ohio.


Additional resources for math assessments


Middle School Students Enrolled in High School Courses

With the elimination of the physical science and English Language Arts I tests in recent years, middle school students accelerated to these high school courses find themselves in a situation where tests exist at their overall grade levels but do not exist at their accelerated subject grade levels. Additionally, with the cancellation of state testing in 2019-2020 due to pandemic and subsequent ordered school-building closures, middle school students enrolled in accelerated coursework and scheduled to take associated tests must navigate which tests to take in spring 2021.


Science

Federal accountability requires that students take science tests once in the elementary school years (in Ohio, grade 5), once in the middle school years (in Ohio, grade 8) and once in high school (in Ohio, biology). However, several middle school students take eighth-grade science before their eighth-grade year, and therefore complete the eighth-grade science test before eighth grade. These students typically are further accelerated to either a high school biology course or high school physical science course.

In the past, schools were advised that students in eighth grade accelerated to high school biology should take the high school biology end-of-course test. Students in eighth grade accelerated to physical science who previously took the eighth-grade science test do not take a science test. If an eighth-grade student accelerated to a high school physical science has not taken the eight-grade science test before, the student should take it that year.

However, due to the cancellation of testing in spring 2020, accelerated students enrolled in eighth-grade science courses were unable to take their eighth-grade science tests. These students may be eighth-graders now enrolled in a high school physical science course.

Therefore, for the 2020-2021 school year, accelerated students enrolled in eighth-grade science in 2019-2020 who were scheduled to take the eighth-grade science test in spring 2020 and currently are enrolled in high school science courses for which there are no end-of-course tests are not required to take a science test in spring 2021. Middle school students who were not scheduled to take the eighth-grade science test in spring 2020 and currently are enrolled in a high school physical science course in spring 2021 should take the eighth-grade science test. Middle school students enrolled in a high school biology course should take the biology end-of-course assessment.

Scenario: In 2019-2020, Sophia was in seventh grade but accelerated one year in science. She was scheduled to take the eighth-grade science test since she was in the eighth-grade course. Due to COVID-19, the testing was canceled. Sophia is now in eighth grade and taking physical science. There is no test for physical science. As a result, Sophia will not take a science test in spring 2021.


English language arts

Federal accountability requires that students take an English language arts test each year in grades 3-8 and the English Language Arts II end-of-course test in high school. (Students in the classes of 2022 and before also take the English Language Arts I test.) However, with the elimination of the English Language Arts I test, students in eighth grade who are enrolled in English Language Arts 9 or equivalent do not have an aligned test to take in high school.

Past guidance stated that with the elimination of the English Language Arts I test, students in the classes of 2023 and beyond enrolled in English Language Arts I courses as eighth graders should take the eighth-grade English language arts test, even if they previously have taken and passed the eighth-grade test.

2020-2021: The cancellation of testing in spring 2020 does not impact this specific guidance. Whether or not a student was scheduled to take the eighth-grade test last year, students in the classes of 2023 and beyond enrolled in English Language Arts I must take the eighth-grade test in spring 2021 regardless of whether they have previously taken the test and passed it. Middle school students enrolled in high school English Language Arts II should take the high school English Language Arts II end-of-course assessment. These students should not take the eighth-grade English language arts test.

Scenario: In 2019-2020, Leo was in seventh grade but accelerated one year in English language arts. He was scheduled to take the eighth-grade English language arts test since he was in the eighth-grade course. Due to the pandemic and the subsequent ordered school-building closures, the testing was canceled. Leo now is in eighth grade and taking English Language Arts I. There is no test for English Language Arts I. Leo should take the eighth-grade English language arts test. Regardless of the pandemic, the guidance would be to take the eighth-grade test even if he had taken it previously.

 

 

Questions

For questions related to state testing requirements, please contact statetests@education.ohio.gov.
 
For questions related to graduation requirements, please contact
gradrequirements@education.ohio.gov.
 
For questions related to accountability and report cards, please contact accountability@education.ohio.gov.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Last Modified: 3/19/2021 4:16:58 PM