Schools superintendents to rally against state testing

About 200 Ohio school superintendents and other education leaders are expected to attend a statehouse rally Nov. 15, where speakers will argue that current state education policy does not match the desires of residents.

The superintendents are unhappy with the current emphasis on standardized tests and are worried that the current graduation points system will cause graduation rates to plummet.

“A score on a single exam has more weight than 180 days of classroom instruction,” said Shadyside Superintendent John Haswell.

Rally details were announced Tuesday by Jim Lloyd, superintendent of Olmsted Falls schools outside Cleveland. Lloyd said there will be a focus on how the superintendents can work together to encourage change.

“With the reality of these policies in clear view, we can serve as a linchpin to bring our staff, our students, the citizens of our communities and our state policymakers together in a positive spirit of mutual trust, respect and cooperation to address everyone’s concerns,” Lloyd wrote.

The 10 a.m. rally will overlap the Nov. 14-15 state school board meeting in Columbus and the Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference and Trade Show, the biggest education conference in the state.

The Ohio Public School Advocacy Network, a superintendents group, performed both scientific and nonscientific research that Lloyd said showed the gap between current policy and what Ohioans want.

Lloyd cited a core message from the superintendents’ group.

“We want to roll our collective sleeves up and work with our stakeholders, constituent groups and Ohio’s elected officials to fix a graduation and state reporting system that is currently in great need of repair,” he said.

“Our students and our citizens deserve a reporting system they can trust.”

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