Schools hold state testing this week after weather-related delay - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Schools hold state testing this week after weather-related delays

(Flikr/Natalie Freitas) (Flikr/Natalie Freitas)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - School districts across Greater Cincinnati plan to hold required state reading and math testing this week after a series of weather-related delays last week.

Officials with Cincinnati Public Schools say they have a 2-to-4-week window to take the PARCC state exam that measures students performance levels. 

They plan to start the tests this week as long as the weather cooperates. But, so far Tuesday, it has not. The district is one of many in the area that issued a two-hour delay when the morning low temperature hit a record minus 2 degrees. There also is a wind chill advisory with sub-zero wind chills expected until 11 a.m.

School leaders in Butler County's Lakota, the region's second-largest district after Cincinnati, and Glen Este in Clermont County also hope to start the tests this week.

On the region's West Side, Northwest and Oak Hills school officials say they plan to start testing students this week despite the weather.

Principals of each school will decide which day their building starts the exam.  

If the weather leads to more calamity days this week, school officials say the state will extend testing dates.

The tests have been sparking controversy with some contending educators must "teach to the test," resulting in lower overall student achievement.

Some parents want their children to opt out of taking them, but school leaders warn that federal and state laws require all districts and schools to test all students in specific grades and courses. 

There is no law that allows a parent or student to opt out of state testing, and there is no state test opt-out procedure or form. If a parent withdraws his or her child's participation in certain state tests, there may be consequences for the child, the child's teacher and the school and district.

Meanwhile, some state lawmakers and educators are calling for reform, chiefly less testing and less changes to the testing requirements. Adrienne C. James, superintendent of Sycamore Community Schools, says instructors must now focus too much time to prepare students for these rapidly-changing testing requirements.

"I doubt that there is any other industry where so many state-mandated changes have been issued with such little guidance, foresight and input from appropriate people in the field who are expected to implement these changes on an accelerated time frame," she wrote in a letter to Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard A. Ross. "The public school system has been jerked from one notion to another, requiring so much time and attention that districts are left with no time to address internal needs. The changes have been staggering! And, sadly, bearing the brunt of it all are our children."

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