Students taking annual achievement tests

Roughly 800,000 students in grades 3-8 will be taking the state-mandated Ohio Achievement Assessments in the next three weeks.

The OAAs are the biggest tests of the year for elementary and middle school students and they are increasingly impacting every level of public education — student achievement and retention, school and district report card ratings and new teacher evaluations that will be partially based on student growth.

“This year’s OAAs will be tied somehow to the new teacher evaluation that comes out next year,” Ohio Department of Education spokesman John Charlton said Wednesday.

Beavercreek, Dayton Public, Kettering, Northmont and Springfield students are among area students who are taking the tests this week. The tests may be given during the three-week window, which ends May 10.

“It’s up to the local districts to decide when they want to offer them in the different buildings,” Charlton said. “Private schools are not required to take them but some choose to do so.”

The questions on the tests are aligned with Ohio’s academic content standards. In 2014-15, students will take standardized tests based on national Common Core State Standards. Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, students who do not demonstrate proficiency in third-grade reading on the OAAs could be retained.

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