HB74 (Testing): On Wednesday, May 13th by a vote of 92-1 the House passed its version of testing reform. Among the changes proposed, HB74 would:
- Limit each state assessment or end-of-course exam to no more than three hours.
- Require that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) issue a request for proposals for new state assessments. Multistate consortia (such as PARCC) are ineligible to submit a proposal.
- Change graduation requirements by reducing end-of-course exams to five (eliminating English II and geometry).
- Eliminate the requirement of online testing for 2015-2016.
- Eliminate writing and math diagnostics for grades 1-3, with the exception of math in the 2nd grade.
- Allow districts to offer an alternative to the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA).
- Require the State Board of Education to review and make recommendations for changes to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES).
The bill now heads to the Ohio Senate. The Ohio Senate recently received recommendations from the Senate Advisory Committee on Testing. The recommendations called for state tests to be shorter, in a single window closer to the end of the school year. However, the recommendations did not specify eliminating PARCC. Instead, it stated if the current vendors of state tests do not make changes to accommodate the recommendations ODE must find a vendor that will.
HB64 (The Budget Bill): On Monday, April 20, 2015, the Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee passed House Bill 64, the budget bill, along party lines. Prior to passage, the committee accepted an omnibus amendment that contained approximately 90 changes to the substitute bill.
The omnibus amendment contained many changes that OEA supported and for which we had advocated. They include: removal of the attack on higher education faculty collective bargaining rights; removal of the provision that would have excluded charter school employees from membership in STRS or SERS if they elect to organize under federal collective bargaining laws; an extension of safe harbor provisions for teachers, districts and students to the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years; the creation of a new $102 million fund to guarantee that school districts do not receive less funding than FY 2015 levels due to the phase out of the tangible personal property tax; and an update to the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities to choose the programs in which they wish to participate including disability and facility specific workshops.
After House floor deliberations on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the Ohio House passed House Bill 64 by a vote of 63-35. The bill now goes to the Ohio Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee and subcommittees for consideration. Details of the major changes from the House substitute bill to the House-passed bill are attached to this email for reference.
OEA Spring RA: Chris Hodnicki, Rhea Young, Matt Durham and Jennifer Gent represented TAWLS at this assembly. Below is a report of the New Business Items that were passed by the 898 delegates in attendance. The last item, SP-2015-11 caused quite a bit of discussion as it relates to Opting Out of standardized testing.
- SP-2015-01 – The OEA President shall appoint a joint committee of higher education and K-12 members to study the College Credit Plus (CCP) program and make recommendations to the OEA Board of Directors regarding the formation of a unified organizational strategy on CCP. The recommendations should include legislative, bargaining and local organizing approaches to implement the strategy. Recommendations of the committee shall be presented to the OEA Board of Directors and the Executive Director no later than the September 19, 2015 Board meeting.
- SP-2015-05 – The OEA shall consult with NEA and other allied organizations to develop a strategy that would educate members about the impact of the tax on “cadillac” health care plans and to develop a plan to address said tax’s impact on OEA members.
- SP-2015-06 – OEA shall consult with NEA to investigate potential civil rights implications of Ohio’s graduation requirements tied to standardized testing results regarding their impact on English language learners.
- SP-2015-08 – OEA staff to investigate the feasibility and report back to RA about a statewide program to strengthen the relationships between schools and targeted community and legislative leaders through conducting interactive school visits within every legislative district in the Ohio area.
- SP-2015-10 – OEA will use communication tools (for example; an article in newsletter or an OEA website) to advise district representatives regarding radon testing.
- SP-2015-11 – OEA will lobby the state legislature to require that ODE notify parents of their right to refuse and the implications of refusing statewide standardized tests that are not required for any grade promotion or graduation.
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Have a wonderful week!!!