Michael D. Clark reports:
The pileup of school closures brought on by winter’s arctic cold and record snowfall has also buried the usual annual student testing dates for the spring.
The Ohio Achievement Assessment testing period for grades three to eight will be postponed a week to April 21-May 16, said officials at the Ohio Department of Education.
Annual testing dates for the Ohio Graduation Test, however, remain in place, said officials.
“Because of the extreme winter Ohio is experiencing and the large number of calamity days that have been observed, the department of education has decided to expand by a week the testing window for the Ohio Achievement Assessments,” said John Charlton, spokesman for the state education department.
“We want to provide those same leaders with some flexibility regarding the assessments so they have the ability to give teachers and students more time to prepare.”
The ratings are the most public and significant measures of Ohio’s 613 school districts. They can affect everything from school levy campaigns to residential and commercial real estate values and student enrollment levels, which are also tied to a district’s state funding.
From the first day of each school year, school schedules and curricula are meticulously planned in large measure to prepare students for the state-mandated tests.
“Due to inclement weather, district and school leaders have faced unprecedented challenges as they have made the safety of our boys and girls their top priority,” Richard Ross, education department superintendent, said in a statement.