Thursday, March 5, 2015

House Bill 74: Good Policy for Our Education System

Guest Column from State Representative Steve Huffman

The issues of school assessments, Common Core, and student performance have become highly debated topics not only in our state legislature, but across the country. As a newly-elected member of the Ohio House of Representatives, and a standing member of the House Education Committee, these areas of concern will continue to be discussed amongst my colleagues and I throughout the year. I would like to discuss a piece of good legislation, House Bill 74, which received its first hearing in committee on February 25.

The first provisions of this bill, sponsored by Representative Andrew Brenner, limit the duration of the administration of each high school end-of-course examination to three hours, beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. This will keep our students from being over-tested.

It also reduces the administration of the third grade English language arts assessment from twice annually to once annually. This will begin with the 2015-2016 school year, and prohibits school districts from being required to administer that assessment in the fall.

The bill also requires the State Board of Education to provide, within 30 days of the bill's effective date, an online opportunity on the website of the Department of Education to make comments on specific academic content standards. This will better connect Ohioan’s to the board members who are making these decisions.

The State Board is also required to review the current academic content standards, taking into consideration the input from the academic standards review committees and the comments posted on the Department's website. They will then adopt revised academic content standards for each of grades K-12 in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

Lastly, HB 74 prohibits the Department of Education from requiring school districts, other public schools, and chartered nonpublic schools to administer any state achievement assessment in an online format through the 2015-2016 school year.

As your state representative, I’m curious to hear your opinions on this and any other state government related issues. While this gives a brief overview of the bill, you can find the full text of House Bill 74 and the bill analysis at

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