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Guest Column: House Bill 7 - Protecting Our Students' Futures

April 6, 2015
Timothy E. Ginter News

With the increasing amount of standardized testing and state assessments in schools today, it is understandable that there have been rising concerns about the effects that these requirements have on students.  As your state representatives, we want to be responsive to your concerns as parents and students, and I believe we have done that in House Bill 7 this year.

During the 130th General Assembly, we saw the passage of House Bill 487, which gave school administrators the choice to decline using student test results on state assessments when making decisions such as termination or the granting of tenure.  This was an important step in the right direction, but I firmly believe, as do many of my colleagues, that students deserve the same kind of protection.

Thus, I am proud to inform my constituents that House Bill 7 has passed through both the House and Senate.  HB 7 was introduced by Representative Jim Buchy and it prohibits the use of standardized testing as grounds for a student’s promotion or denial into a higher grade or for receiving course credit.  It grants students a safe harbor by assuring them that scores from the first year of all state assessments, including those given by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), cannot be used to single-handedly determine their academic future.  I am happy to support this piece of legislation that is so imperative to the quality of education we wish to maintain and improve upon in our state.

HB 7 passed unanimously in both the House and Senate less than two months after being introduced, evidence of the fact that concern for the wellbeing of Ohio students is a sentiment that supersedes political differences.  The Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger signed the bill after its passage, marking his first bill signing as the new leader of our chamber.  This landmark in his role as Speaker reflects the responsibility we all feel for the education and academic futures of the students of Ohio.

My goal in supporting this bill and in holding this office is to best serve the people of my district, and as such, I encourage you to contact my office regarding this topic or with any other questions or concerns you might have regarding our state government.