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Reps. Sobecki and Crossman introduce bill to waive state testing for upcoming academic year

June 1, 2020
Lisa A. Sobecki News

COLUMBUS- State Reps. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) and Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) today introduced House Bill (HB) 686 to waive end-of-year state testing for the 2020-2021 school year. Due to the uncertainty for the upcoming school year, the bill requires the Ohio Department of Education to seek a federal waiver for testing requirements and hold districts harmless regarding the State Report Card.

“The reality of the situation is that we still do not have a clear picture of what schools will look like for the upcoming year, but we do know it is not fair to subject students across the state to an onslaught of mandated testing as teachers and students juggle differing educational scenarios caused by COVID-19,” said Rep. Sobecki. “Our bill is prudent in that it waives state testing for this year and allows students to focus on learning during this pandemic without added pressure of mandating testing.”                    

“Cancelling state testing for this past academic year was a huge relief for the students, teachers and parents as they learned to deal with a new learning environment.  Given the continuing uncertainty, it makes sense to postpone testing once again,” said Rep. Crossman.  “For starters, we do not know fully what the impact of the distance learning model has been, and it’s unfair to hold everyone to a preexisting standard under the circumstances, especially given the gross inequities that exist across our state in providing learning opportunities for our students.  We should focus on directing resources to our districts rather than imposing unnecessary and outmoded requirements at this point.  Another one-year moratorium on state testing will not unduly hinder the state’s ability to evaluate school performance once this pandemic ends.”

HB 686 now awaits referral to a House committee.