Parent Resource Toolkit

Assessment Toolkit for Parents

Assessment is a term educators use when describing many of the ways they learn about your child’s educational progress. Assessments that school districts give include state tests and a variety of other types of tests, along with classroom activities that help teachers determine when each student needs additional help or practice, and when they are ready to move ahead in the learning process.

There are several types of tests, including summative, interim, formative and diagnostic (such as readiness tests and screeners). Some tests, such as formative tests, are teaching tools, designed to help teachers see how well your child is learning as the lessons are being taught. Some tests are diagnostic, designed to see how much a student knows at the beginning of an instructional period. Summative tests are given at the end of an instructional period to measure whether your child has learned the information he or she was to have been taught. If a student has not, it identifies areas in which the student may need support. 
State achievement tests tell us how well students are growing in the knowledge and skills outlined in Ohio's Learning Standards. These tests help guide and determine instruction so we can be sure that educators are preparing students for long-term success. Test results also allow you to know how well your local school is performing compared to others around the state. 

Ultimately, state tests give schools and districts information that helps them improve how students are taught, coach teachers, and provides additional supports in their efforts to help students succeed.

 

Ohio’s State Tests (OST)

Ohio’s State Tests are summative tests, which means students take tests at the end of the year for grades 3-8 and they take end-of-course tests for high school. The tests measure how students statewide are developing the knowledge and skills described in Ohio's Learning Standards for each subject area. The test results also help measure each public school and district’s performance, which is reflected on its annual Ohio School Report Card.
Students in grades 3 - 8 and high school take Ohio’s State Tests in English language arts and mathematics. At certain points in middle and high school, these students also take state tests in science and social studies.

Ohio’s Learning Standards

Ohio’s Learning Standards are the foundation of the Ohio’s State Tests and explain the knowledge and skills Ohio students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 need to gain. Ohio’s Learning Standards stress skills like critical thinking and problem solving — qualities today’s employers value. By teaching our students to apply these skills to what they are learning in school, we can make sure they are on track to graduate from high school and enjoy success in college, careers and life.
Ohio measures the performance of its schools based on how well students are progressing in gaining the knowledge and skills. We do this by measuring student performance on annual state tests based on the standards. Ohio’s Learning Standards are the foundation for Ohio’s State Tests.

Model curriculum

Ohio is a local control state in education. This means that educators in local districts choose their own curriculum that is approved by their local boards of education. Based on the district’s curriculum, educator teams plan their instruction and select the teaching techniques, textbooks and other materials for their students that will help them learn.
Teams of teachers across the state helped develop model curricula and other related tools. State law does not mandate that school districts use these guides. But, by doing so, educators will find in-depth descriptions explaining what the standards mean that will help them develop local curricula and instructional plans.
 
If you have questions about Ohio’s Learning Standards or curriculum and instruction, please email LearningandInstructionalStrategies@education.ohio.gov​ at the Ohio Department of Education.

Accessibility for Ohio’s State Tests

Ohio’s Accessibility Manual provides information about the accessibility features of Ohio’s State Tests for grades 3-8 and high school in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Accessibility means how students access the test—in other words, how students use tools to engage in the test. The manual helps to define the specific accessibility features available for all students, students with disabilities, students who are English learners and students who are English learners with disabilities.

Ohio’s State Tests Portal

The Ohio’s State Tests Portal is the gateway to all systems and resources for the administration of the Ohio’s State Tests. It includes FAQs and resources for students and families, teachers/test administrators, test coordinators and technology coordinators. Although the test portal is available to the public, several features require users to log in using their account information. The following resources are available for students and families.
  • The Student Practice Site is located in the Students and Families section of the test portal. Students and parents can sign in as a “Guest User”, select a specific grade level and find an online practice test and released test items organized by subject area and year. Students will see the item types for online tests. Additionally, the online practice tests give students the opportunity to experience navigating through the online testing system, use the available tools and features and familiarize themselves with the online testing experience.
  • Student Testing Site Tutorials - These tutorials provide information about the online Student Testing Site. Part 1 walks through the student sign-in process and navigation. Part 2 covers the variety of tools available to students for online testing.
  • Online Practice Test and Item Release Scoring Guides - These documents provide the answer keys and scoring guides for the Practice Tests and various released items available on the Student Practice Site. They include the item type, the content strand and content statement assessed, an answer key and the number of points associated with each item. They also include the guidelines for scoring (i.e., scoring rubrics), sample responses and notes on scoring and rationales that describe why response options are correct or incorrect. The scoring guides also contain information about Depth of Knowledge (DOK) for ELA, math and social studies and Cognitive Demand (CD) for science.  
All of these resources give educators, students and families insight into the kinds of questions and online tools students experience, and they are useful to help inform classroom instruction and assessment. Teachers and families may use these resources to help students know what to expect during online testing. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ohio’s State Tests can be found here.

Parent Involvement

For questions related to Ohio’s State Tests, please email statetests@education.ohio.gov.
 

Alternate Assessment for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD)

 
Ohio’s Alternate for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD) is a test designed to allow students with the most significant cognitive disabilities to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in an appropriately rigorous assessment. It is the federally required statewide assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to participate in the state’s general assessment even with allowable accommodations. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) limits the total number of students who are assessed statewide with an alternate assessment to 1% of the total number of students in the state who are assessed (or approximately 9% of all students with disabilities).

The AASCD, or Alternate Assessment as it is sometimes called, measures Ohio’s Learning Standards–Extended (OLS-E). These learning standards are also commonly known as the extended standards. The extended standards help to ensure that students with the most significant cognitive disabilities are provided with multiple ways to learn and demonstrate their knowledge while maintaining the rigor and high expectations of Ohio’s Learning Standards.

The Alternate Assessment Participation Decision-Making Tool is a required document used to guide and support individualized education program (IEP) teams in determining whether a student is most appropriately assessed with an alternate assessment. IEP teams must use the tool each time the team is considering a student’s participation in the alternate assessment. The decision-making tool should be used along with the Alternate Assessment Decision-Making Framework (Flowchart) since it helps to clarify and set specific criteria that students must meet for point in flowchart. 

The Decision-Making Tool Frequently Asked Questions document was created as a supplement to the decision-making tool to address questions and concerns.

Ohio’s Accessibility Manual is a comprehensive policy document providing information about the accessibility features of Ohio’s State Tests for grades 3-8 and high school in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. The manual helps to define the specific accessibility features available for all students, students with disabilities, students who are English learners and students who are English learners with disabilities.

The Ohio Alternate Assessment Portal is the gateway to all systems and resources for the administration of the Alternate Assessment for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities. It includes FAQs and resources for students and families, teachers/test administrators, test coordinators, and technology coordinators. Although this test portal is available to the public, several features require users to log in using their account information.
  Alternate Assessment Family Resources were developed as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) resources to describe the Alternate Assessment for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities. For questions related to Alternate Assessment, please email statetests@education.ohio.gov.
 

Ohio's English Language Proficiency Assessments

English learners (Els) are a growing part of Ohio’s Pre-K-12 student population. Over the last ten years, Ohio’s population of EL students has doubled to approximately 60,000 students. Spanish is the home language of almost 40% of Ohio’s English learners along with 90 other home languages. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Ohio must identify English learners, annually assess their English language proficiency, provide reasonable accommodations for them on state assessments and implement accountability systems that include long-term goals and measures of progress.

Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS)

Districts must assess all newly enrolled students for English language proficiency. The assessment process begins with the Language Usage Survey. The next step in the identification process is the Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS). The OELPS is an online screener (paper/pencil version is available for accommodations only) aligned to the K-12 English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards and is designed to identify Ohio students in grades K-12 who are English learners. More information about the identification process and the Language Usage Survey, including translated versions of the survey and the Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS) FAQ can be found on the  Guidelines for Identifying English Learners page of the Department’s website.

Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA)

The Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) is the state summative test given to all English learners annually. It is used to determine an English learner’s proficiency level at the end of each year and provides the evidence needed to meet the exit criteria of the English language program. The OELPA is aligned to the K-12 English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards and is used to meet the federal requirement of an annual assessment of English proficiency measuring listening, reading and writing. Parents will receive a Family Report each year with their student’s OELPA scores. Parents and districts can download the Translated OELPA Family Reports from the Department’s website. The reports are available in in the most common home languages reported by Ohio’s schools. More information about the OELPA including FAQs and English language program exit criteria can be found on the OELPA page of the Department’s website. Students, families, teachers, test administrators, test coordinators and technology coordinators can find practice tests and other resources on the Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessments Portal

Assessment Accommodations for English Learners

It is important for all Ohio students to receive equal opportunities and supports needed to reach their academic goals. Ohio offers English learners multiple ways to meaningfully engage with and demonstrate their content knowledge and skills. In doing so, the state provides specific accommodations on state tests, especially those that do not test English language proficiency. Please see the Revised Assessment Accommodations for English Learners page of the Department’s website for information about accommodations for English learners on state tests and translated versions of this information.

Ohio’s Accessibility Manual is a comprehensive policy document providing information about the accessibility features for all of Ohio’s State Tests for grades 3-8 and high school in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. The manual helps to define the specific accessibility features available for all students, students with disabilities, students who are English learners and students who are English learners with disabilities.

Ohio's Accessibility Manual for Ohio’s English Language Proficiency Assessments is a manual that specifically applies to EL students. It emphasizes an individualized approach to the implementation of assessment practices for students who have diverse needs and participate in the English language proficiency program.  At the same time, this manual supports important instructional decisions about accessibility for EL students. Ohio recognizes the critical connection between accessibility in instruction and accessibility during assessment.

For questions related to English Language Assessments, please contact statetests@education.ohio.gov.
 

Third Grade Reading Guarantee

The ability to read is the foundation of learning. Research shows that children who are not reading at a third-grade level by the end of grade three are more likely to have trouble learning in all classroom subjects in higher grades. Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee is a program to identify students from kindergarten through grade three who are struggling in reading. Schools must provide help and support to make sure all students are on track for reading success by the end of third grade. This video explains Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Struggling readers also greatly benefit from their families’ involvement and help at home. The Department’s Family Resource page will give you the information you need about family and home support. The Third Grade Reading Guarantee FAQs provide answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) received by the Department regarding this program.

Translated Third Grade Reading Guarantee documents are also provided on the Department’s website. The documents are translated into the state’s most commonly reported home languages, as reported by Ohio schools.

For additional literacy resources please see the Family and Community Support Toolbox. The purpose of the Family and Community Toolbox is to provide resources in order to build upon the natural learning opportunities that occur within a child’s daily routine in the home and community. The resources contained in this toolbox provide encouragement to families and caregivers in supporting the early language and literacy development of children in their care. Materials contained in Family and Community Support Toolbox are drawn from both internal and external sources and will evolve over time.

For any questions about the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, please email thirdgradeguarantee@education.ohio.gov.
 

Ohio's High School Graduation Requirements 

Because there is no one-size-fits-all way to graduate, Ohio gives students several ways to qualify for a high school diploma. Students and their families can choose the way that works best for them.

To earn a high school diploma in Ohio, students must complete the courses and requirements and then choose a pathway to show that they are ready for college or a job.
 
State law introduced new, permanent graduation requirements that are available for the classes of 2021 and beyond.
  • Students entering ninth grade between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2019, have the option to meet the new requirements outlined for the classes of 2021 and 2022 or complete one of the original three pathways to graduation
  • Students entering ninth grade after July 1, 2019, must meet the new requirements outlined for the classes of 2023 and beyond.  

Long-term Grad Requirements 2023 and Beyond - This guidance document provides a preliminary outline of the changes to testing and graduation requirements.

Graduation Questions and Answers provides answers to the most frequently asked questions.
 
For any questions about graduation requirements, please email gradrequirements@education.ohio.gov.
 

Early Learning Assessments

Pre-Kindergarten

Ohio’s Early Learning Assessment is a tool for teachers of preschool age children to learn about the current level of each child’s skills, knowledge and behaviors in the areas of social foundations, language and literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, physical well-being and motor development, and fine arts.

The Early Learning Assessment FAQ - For Families provides answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Early Learning Assessment.

Kindergarten 

At the beginning of each school year, children in public and community school kindergarten programs are assessed using Ohio’s Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Revised        (KRA-R).  This assessment includes ways for teachers to measure a child’s readiness for engaging with instruction aligned to the kindergarten standards. The KRA-R is a tool that teachers use to get to each child. It is not designed to rank children by ability, nor is it a tool for identifying students with disabilities or gifted students.

This tool is designed to help teachers get to know their students in a way that does not interrupt learning. The tool requires the teacher to watch the student during the natural course of the school day’s activities so children are unaware of the assessment taking place.
 
Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards (birth to kindergarten entry) are the basis for the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Revised. Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards in all domains of school readiness reflect the comprehensive development of children beginning at birth to kindergarten entry. Their purpose is to support the development and well-being of young children and to foster their learning. The standards promote the understanding of early learning and development, provide a comprehensive and coherent set of early childhood educational expectations for children’s development and learning, and guide the design and implementation of curriculum, assessment and instructional practices with young children.
 
The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment FAQs – For Families provides answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) receive by the Ohio Department of Education regarding the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.
 
For more information visit the Department’s Kindergarten Readiness Assessment for Families web page. Included on the web page are KRA-R postcards in English and translated versions that provide ways that families can support their children’s learning in kindergarten, a sample Individual Student Report, Kindergarten Readiness Checklist, Early Learning Family Resources and other resources to support early learning.
 
 
 
 

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Last Modified: 11/30/2021 8:23:57 PM