Groveport Madison school board wants no state testing this year

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

The Groveport Madison Board of Education took a stand against mandated state standardized testing requirements for this year.

On Feb. 23, the board approved a resolution urging the state legislature to waive all state mandated standardized testing requirements for the 2020-21 school year as well as requesting the state ask for a waiver from federal standardized testing requirements for reading and math.

The resolution noted the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has created instructional challenges and placed added stress on students.

“This resolution is an opportunity for the board to make a political statement to the state legislature to waive state standardized testing requirements,” said Groveport Madison Superintendent Garilee Ogden. “This is not a healthy year to be assessing our kids. It would be great for the state to not test our kids this year. But, we’ll do what we have to do.”

Board President Libby Gray said the students are already stressed and enduring a pandemic situation that they have no control over.

“Now is not the time to put more pressure on our students,” said Gray.

Board member Nancy Gillespie went further and advocated that school boards across the state should “fight for the end of these biased standardized state tests that are useless in determining what students need to learn academically. These tests should be struck completely.”

The resolution notes that: district educators are best able to assess students’ COVID-19 needs “better than an out-of-state standardized test developer;” the administration of the tests could pose health hazards; the state waived the tests last year at the beginning of the pandemic; and that the district already performs “formative testing on every district student – tests that during a pandemic are far more helpful and accurate in addressing students needs.”

Ogden said the district also has not heard anything yet from the Ohio Department of Education regarding this year’s graduation requirements.

The board will forward its approved resolution to the state legislature for its consideration.

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