Run Of Calamity Days May Leave Students Unprepared For Standardized Tests

Feb 4, 2014

Many  Ohio’s schools have been forced to close during the bad winter weather. Some districts have exhausted their calamity days.

The Ohio legislature is working on a plan to allow more. But the closures have created another concern….whether students will be prepared to take state mandated tests this spring. John Charlton of the Ohio Department of Education tell Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles the agency is considering  delaying those tests.

Charlton – There are some preliminary discussions involving potentially extending the testing window for the Ohio Achievement Assessments. Ohio Achievement Assessments are given to students in three through eight and the idea would be to give them as much classroom time as possible before they’d have to take those assessments.  The idea is they’ve missed a lot of school already and we could help them out by giving them an extra week or two before they’d have to take those assessments.

Ingles – Now when are they supposed to be taking those?

Charlton – The spring administration of the OAA starts on Monday April 21st and ends on Friday May 9th.  So there’s about a three week period there where they can take those assessments.  And probably what might happen if that window is expanded, they’d add a week on the end of that so districts could move their test dates within that window back a little bit.

Ingles – Now this wouldn’t affect the Ohio Graduation test then?

Charlton – The Ohio Graduation Test would be very difficult to move just because of trying to get the results back in time for students to see if they are eligible to graduate or not.  The spring administration of the Ohio Graduation Test is set for March 10 through March 23rd and the results are supposed to be back on May 12th.  Really, a lot of schools are going to be having their graduations close to that so they really need to get those results back as soon as possible so it makes it really difficult to push or extend that window for the O-G-T’s.

Charlton says students begin taking the graduation test in their sophomore year so many don’t have to take it in their junior or senior years if they had passed all parts of it earlier.  State Superintendent Richard Ross has the authority to expand the test dates but the Ohio General Assembly would have to extend the deadline in Ohio law for reporting test results.  Charlton says that measure could be added to the legislation now under consideration that would allow schools to take more calamity days this year.