Providing a quality education to more than 1.8 million K-12 public school students in Ohio is the responsibility of the state's educators as well as the Ohio Department of Education. Increased learning expectations among students nationwide has not made this task any simpler, but Ohio has made it clear that the state is up to the challenge.
In compliance with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which Ohio adopted in 2010, and aligned with the benchmarks contained in the Ohio Academic Content Standards, the Ohio Achievement Assessments (OAA) were developed to measure student learning gains in math, reading, and science.
Although the Ohio Department of Education's website still lists the OAA tests as current, changes are afoot in Ohio as OAA tests have recently been supplanted by assessments developed by a consortium known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.
Without further ado, here are five things you may not know about Ohio's statewide achievement tests:
1. A complex series of tests.
The PARCC assessments in Ohio have a number of components spread throughout the school year, each with its own acronym. There are:
- The Performance-Based Assessment (PBA), which involves "multi-step problems that require abstract reasoning, precision, perseverance and strategic use of tools";
- The Mid-Year Assessment (MYA), a summative component with an "emphasis on hard-to-measure standards"; and
- The End-of-Year Assessment (EOY), a final set of exams to be "administered after approximately 90 percent of the school year."
2. Built and tested with Ohio's input.
Within the PARCC consortium, Ohio educators took part in developing the state's new assessments. Astonishingly, the process entailed more than 54,000 hours over a span of four years. During this lengthy process, the exams were field-tested with one million students.
3. Some issues with computer-based assessments.
Ohio's rollout of computerized PARCC testing has been typical of these types of events: not without glitches, but still highly manageable. Specific problems have involved inability for students to log in, exams that crashed, and long wait times to start tests.
Despite these issues and the frustration among some students and educators, districts did eventually resolve these issues.
4. Where can I find practice tests?
As the Ohio Department of Education's website points out, practice exams are available for students, parents, educators, and anyone else interested in getting a feel for the state's PARCC test items.
5. Computer-based item types.
A significant change with the new PARCC exams is the use of computer-based, or technology enhanced, item types. Instead of multiple choice, these new items use drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank, drawing with a mouse, and other approaches.
Check out LearnBop’s brand new Technology Enhanced Items (TEI) to see what the new computer-based item types will look like. Teachers can use these new items right now for free!
We hope this article was informative, and that you learned something you didn't know before. We'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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About the Author
David Moadel is in his third decade working in education. He has taught, mentored, and inspired students from elementary age through adult. David has earned his master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the American College of Education, and is currently a certified teacher in Florida. David enjoys teaching, writing, and utilizing technology tools to communicate with people with diverse viewpoints across the globe.