In response to concerns from parents regarding how the results of the new state assessments would be used at the student level, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 7. Sponsored by my colleague Representative Jim Buchy, this bill will provide a “safe harbor” for students, by ensuring that they do not suffer any negative consequences as a result of the new state assessments, including those from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

As your state representative, I believe that it is my responsibility to help ensure that our students are given the best opportunity possible to succeed. H.B. 7 will prohibit the use of student test scores to make decisions regarding grade promotion and retention, as well as the granting of credit. By prohibiting the release of individual students’ test scores from tests administered during the 2014-2015 school year without the permission of a parent or guardian, this bill will also protect student privacy.

The last General Assembly passed House Bill 487, which provided similar protections to teachers and school administrators. H.B. 487 gave school districts the option of using an alternative student progress measure instead of the value-added progress measure calculated using results from state assessments to make personnel decisions, such as termination and the granting of tenure. It is important that we offer our students the same sort of protections from these new state assessments that we offer our teachers.

I am pleased to report that House Bill 7 was signed into law by the governor, after passing the House and the Senate with broad bipartisan approval. Although this bill is a step in the right direction, it will take continued hard work to ensure that the children of our state are given the best opportunity to succeed. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any ideas for making Ohio a better place for our students.

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