We all remember taking those Ohio Graduation Tests in high school. Waking up early to go sit in a class and write a test for two hours. Well that all is going to change for the high school sophomores in the 2015-2016 school year. The Ohio Graduation Tests are going to be replaced and it will actually be tougher than the old Ohio Graduation Tests (And I’m pretty sure this is the only thing that got WORSE for students after my high school class graduated from my high school). This new test will measure if students are ready for college or their future careers. Michael Sawyers, Ohio’s acting superintendent of public instruction said that this effort is to help ensure all students in Ohio leave high school with the necessary knowledge and skills for college or their future careers.
Two years ago, Ohio decided to create a more challenging test required for students to graduate high school. The amount of students taking remedial courses in their first year of college inspired Ohio to increase the minimal requirements needed to graduate so students will be better prepared for college. Students will now have to take a college readiness exam along with 7 (yes, 7) end of course tests in social studies, English, math, and science. End-of-course exams will be required in English one, English two, and English three, algebra one, geometry, algebra two, biology, physical science, American history and American government. All of this in the hopes that students will become more successful, but as always, no guarantees. This school year, the common core classes in high school will become more rigorous to accompany these new tests.
In addition to the new graduation tests in high school, a new third-grade reading guarantee will require that students reading below grade level will receive additional help services and if these services do not help, the students will be held back a grade. The state will also be issuing A-F report cards to schools and educational districts to provide feedback on their performance. The state of Ohio will also pay for students to take the ACT, a test currently required for college admissions.
How does this relate to our class? Well, the new exams are going to be completed on computers. When taking tests, I prefer them to be paper and pencil, an older technology. Taking tests online has too many possibilities for error for my preference. I would fear the test would not submit or my computer would shut down or other various errors.
Another issue with this new test that I have questions about is the use of technology. Will all the schools in Ohio be able to provide the computers necessary for all of the students to take the tests? I know in my high school for example it would be hard to provide students with enough computers to all take the test at the same time. This new test is just another step in computerizing more of the education process.