Thursday, March 12, 2015

House Bill 7 Moved Quickly to Help Our Students

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

Ohio House Bill 7 is a bill I sponsored at the very beginning of this General Assembly that clarifies that scores from this first year of all state assessments, including assessments from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), cannot be used to determine promotion or granting of credit. The House acted quickly on this legislation and passed it on Wednesday, February 11th with broad support on both sides of the aisle.

Additionally, we saw the Senate pass the bill on Wednesday, March 4th, also in a bipartisan fashion. I believe that this is because we as state legislators see the protection of our students from any ramifications related to state testing as a priority, and not something that can be tied to partisan ideology.

As our students who have taken online assessments look back on this first year of testing, I hope that they hold their heads high, having navigated the first large scale computer test in state history. This is an achievement that is specific to their generation, and I am certainly proud of the work they have done.

This process can be taxing on the teachers, administrators and information technology professionals that service our schools. I believe that the measures we in the state legislature have taken will go on to help them in their work.

Over the years, we have seen our society become more dependent on the computer. Especially when dealing with education, we need to be willing to step back and determine when this is effective and when it is not. A lot of questions have been raised, both in the state government and in the classrooms, as to whether we are ready for this type of testing.

House Bill 7 contains an emergency clause making it effective at the stroke of the governor’s pen. I will be pleased to know this bill ensures that the futures of our children are not impacted by the new experimental testing method. That is the intent of this bill after all, to ensure that the test scores from new tests are not used before we know more about the results.

As always, I would appreciate hearing your feedback on this and any other issues in the state legislature. You can complete a survey at

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