State testing survey raises questions

Bowling Green Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

 

With school districts across Ohio getting less than stellar grades on their recent state report cards, some further investigation has revealed some disturbing discrepancies, according to Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci.

Scruci explained at Tuesday’s school board meeting that a survey about the state tests was conducted with all the district superintendents in Ohio.

The superintendents were asked one question – if their district tests were conducted online, on paper, or a combination.

A total 450 superintendents responded. Of those, 250 had online tests, with 175 getting an F for the value-added overall grade, and just 47 getting an A.

Just 95 districts gave all-paper tests, with 85 of those getting an A.

“There is some suspicion in the state that the tests were not equal,” Scruci said.

Due to the rash of low scores, there is a possibility of legislative action which would make the most recent scores invalid.

However, Scruci said he wasn’t using the discrepancies as a crutch, and he still considers the district responsible for state testing scores.

But he also said that a two-hour test should not be used to make a valid assessment of a student. That small “snapshot” is not a true indicator of what the student is learning.

Scruci said he is working on a blueprint that will “drill down” to work with each student and take the pressure off teachers when it comes to test scores.

“We have to make some changes. We have to do things differently,” he said.

Scruci proposed that the district should hire two curriculum coordinators, one at the secondary and one at the elementary level for next year. Ideally, he would also like to hire instructional coaches, but realizes that just is not affordable for the district.

Scruci quoted the school treasurer, Rhonda Melchi, as frequently reminding him, “Just because I’m a new superintendent doesn’t mean there’s a new revenue stream.”

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