• Preparing Kids for State Tests: Less Time Than We Think!

    All fifty states in the country are required to administer state assessments at the end of the school year to comply with the accountability measures laid out by the federal government. For example, all states MUST test students in English Language Arts (ELA) and math every year in grades 3-8 and also in social studies and science two times within that grade band. In addition, all states must require state tests in math and English at least one time in high school. Logically, schools want as many instructional days as possible to prepare their students for these high stakes tests that have serious implications for students, parents, buildings and districts across the United States. Given the traditional school calendar, school should be able to count on 180 days of instruction to prepare kids, right? Well, for numerous reasons, schools rarely, if ever, have even one student in attendance ready for instruction for 180 school days. In fact, when we look at all of the factors involved, the typical student is likely in their seat and available for instruction anywhere from 140 to 150 days every school year. Let's take a look at why.

  • Ohio's State Plan for ESSA

    Since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December of 2016, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has been busy preparing Ohio's draft plan which must be submitted to and approved by the U.S. Department of Education. The draft plan must adhere to all state requirements outlined in ESSA and will serve as a blueprint for Ohio to address standards, assessments, accountability and special help for struggling schools. The ODE has sought stakeholder input over the past year through a host of meetings held throughout the state, a series of webinars covering each of the major topics and the opportunity for individuals to weigh in via electronic resources. Below is an outline of some of the major provisions in Ohio's ESSA draft plan.