15,000 Ohioans were engaged in discussions to advise ODE regarding the ESSA plan. Did ODE really listen to the folks that participated in the feedback sessions? Or did ODE listen to the Governor, who in a political statement, said we are not going to back down from high standards. The Governor’s posture on the matter would be appropriate if the “high standards” had validity. School district officials and teaching personnel do not not opt for low standards-they want the appropriate high standards.

The key highlights on page four of Driving Education Excellence: Securing the Future for All Ohio Students A Draft Overview of Ohio’s State Plan for The Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) Act do not signal a significant departure from the current test and punish routine.

  • Continuing to update Ohio’s Learning Standards to ensure that they remain world-class and set our students on a path of success after high school.

  • Implementing the Third Grade Reading Guarantee to make sure Ohio’s younger students have the reading skills they need to succeed later in school.

  • Revising the state’s approach to testing students to be more efficient and require less testing time (which actually decreased by more than 50 percent from 2014 to 2016).

  • Enacting the A-F School Report Card, which provides parents a better understanding of how their child’s school and district is performing and where it can improve.

  • Strengthening dropout prevention and recovery programs to help keep Ohio’s students in school.

  • Expanding student access to career and technical education, beginning in 7th grade, and giving more students a jumpstart on career education.

  • Increasing student access to high-quality STEM education programs and project-based learning initiatives.

Testing and report card funding is up nearly 50% in the new state budget proposal; hence, the Governor, and thus ODE, is not likely backing away from the unrestrained, outlandish testing frenzy.


William L. Phillis, Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding