Earlier this week we wrote about Ohio House Bill 7, which is described as a “Safe Harbor” law for students, protecting them from negative ramifications based on the 2014-15 state standardized tests.
Today, on Ohio Public Radio*, Senator Peggy Lehner, chair of the Senate Education Committee that passed the bill out of committee last week and sent it to the full Senate for a vote (it passed today unanimously), said:
“For the 2014-15 school year only, student test scores on end of course exams or on any of the 3-8 achievement assessments cannot be used as a factor to retain a student or promote them to a higher grade or in any decision to grant course credit.”
Unfortunately, that’s an inaccurate statement. In reality, and as we shared in our previous article on the subject, the bill explicitly does not protect third graders this year from the threat of being retained. From the analysis by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission (page 2):
“The bill explicitly states that the provisions described above do not apply to the third-grade English language arts assessment that is used for purposes of the third-grade reading guarantee.”
Whether the Ohio legislators who are meddling with education “reform” efforts are either ignorant of the components of the laws they are enacting or are intentionally misrepresenting them is anyone’s guess.
Either way, it’s shameful.
*[CORRECTION: an earlier edition of the story stated that Senator Lehner was a part of a teleconference on testing. Senator Lehner was not a part of the testing teleconference, but was interviewed separately for the story.]