Ohio Schools Prepare For The Possibility Of Big Changes

Posted on:

< < Back to

Teachers and students in Ohio will face extreme changes if a new plan for the state's education system is passed.

The plan, which is part of a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law, will change school ranking from scales of excellence to letter grades and will replace traditional paper standardize tests with online exams. 

A public forum to discuss the proposal was held in Athens last night.

Rick Edwards, superintendent of the Athens-Meigs Educational Service Center, said there were mixed opinions about the proposal at last night's meeting.

"The request or need for change is one that's up for significant debate, whether it's your personal opinion or professional opinion," he said. "Some of it is the timeliness of the impact of the change. Whether schools are ready for the change, the rigor that has come forward in raising the expectations and the resources the schools have available to meet some of the demands."

Edwards said the new ranking scale could drastically alter an individual school's performance ratings and ultimately impact how residents perceive their schools and support their levies.

Lisa Fauber, a math teacher at Athens High School, says the possible changes are coming far too soon and with little information.

"It would be nice if the state of Ohio would let us know a little more information about what's to come," said Fauber. "We wish we would have had this information last year or that our district would have asked us to do some of this stuff last year, because now we feel like we are a little pressed for time. We don't know enough about the tests that will be coming up."

If the plan is passed, the changes would be implemented in 2014. Students would take the new standardized tests on a customized schedule. Instead of waiting months for results, students would receive their scores within a minute of completion.

Edwards said the new changes would provide a more uniform evaluation of Ohio schools.

"Some of the benefits are that if the system doesn't get too watered down, it will definitely challenge our educational system. If you're looking at it from a national education perspective, you get the opportunity to compare how students in Ohio are doing nationally in a true comparison," he said.