Ohio Senate passes a bill to modify standardized testing

Juniors and seniors can take or retake exams at the end of the course if they were unable to take them. These results can be used as a final grade.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Senate has passed bill changing standardized tests to allow current juniors and seniors to graduate during a pandemic school year. The house approved the changes on the same day.

The bill also reintroduced an emergency bill clause that the House removed when it first voted on the measure.

“If we pass this without the emergency clause, it will be after the school year is over,” said Senator Andrew Brenner, R-Powell.

The emergency clause allows the bill to take effect immediately after the governor signs the bill, rather than 90 days after, as is typical for bills without an emergency clause.

Juniors and seniors can take or retake high school final exams if they are unable to take them. These results can be used as a final grade for a change to the house bill, Brenner said.

A degree is also available for those who earn the Ohio Means Jobs Seal of Approval as well as the minimum curriculum requirements. To earn the seal for a high school diploma, students must demonstrate “certain professional skills that are required to succeed in the workplace,” according to the Ohio Means Jobs website, which explains the seal.

This change was introduced by Senator Theresa Fedor, D-Toledo, to make work beneficial to students during the pandemic.

“This change will help students who have already had to work, and many have been seen as important workers during our pandemic. They have already built professional relationships and developed additional demonstrations of soft skills such as professionalism and critical thinking,” Fedor said during the Senate session on Wednesday .

UPDATE: The Ohio Senate passed the state testing bill today, with changes to the completion paths that are now being sent back to the House for approval. https://t.co/7jvs34sfJz via @ohiocapjournal

– Susan Tebben (@susantebben) March 17, 2021


Two bills hoping to make changes to Ohio’s education system, one immediate and one long-term, were challenged Tuesday.

The Ohio Senate Primary and Secondary School Committee passed a bill changing the state’s standardized testing schedule.

Meanwhile, a bill introduced last week to revise the state’s testimony system has been forwarded by its sponsors to the House Primary and Secondary Committees with confirmation that the bill may change.

“We know this bill is not perfect because it is the initial stage of a bill,” said Co-Sponsoring MP Don Jones, R-Freeport.

One criticism was a reduction in the number of gifted students in a district, which would cause that district to report information about their gifted program. Districts would only be required to report the information if at least 20 students were considered gifted in that district.

“Many districts are smaller and may not have that many, and yet this appears to be an important measure and information for the parents of students in that district,” said Mary Lightbody Rep., Westerville, D-Westerville.

According to Jones, the bill sponsors plan to meet with the Ohio Association for Gifted Children tomorrow to work on this element of the bill.


The bill’s measurement of students is delayed for the same reason that sponsors of a state test bill are trying to change standardized tests across the state that will be conducted in the school year shortened by the pandemic.

“For some schools we don’t want to start measuring right away because, let’s face it, we have a learning gap that we need to try to fill in the 21-22 school year,” Jones told the committee.

While discussions about state credentials continued, the Senate’s Primary and Secondary Education Committee passed the bill changing the state’s standardized testing plan, which typically provides information on state credentials.

The bill, which extends the time available for government and government-mandated standardized tests to be performed and reported, was passed after it was amended to include the emergency clause that the House did not approve when the bill was passed.

An exception to the enhancements for state tests was the reading rating in third grade. The bill sponsors previously said the evaluation could not be postponed as it notes progression to fourth grade.

This draft law is now going to be voted on by the entire Senate.

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