Ohio letting students try out new exams

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio plans to give students new exams to measure achievement starting as soon as next year, and thousands of children will be testing those tests this spring.

About 120,000 students throughout the state will take the mostly online exams during the Common Core field testing between March and June, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland (http://bit.ly/1e2KnML ) reported. The two-hour tests don't count this year, and the only results districts will get are assessments of whether participants properly took the exams.

The trial run will help officials identify any problems that need to be addressed before the real rollout as the state shifts toward standards that many other states also will use.

"We're gaining insight and information on the test questions themselves," said Sasheen Phillips, who leads the Ohio Department of Education's Center for Curriculum and Assessment.

The testers in Ohio will be students from 2,000 schools representing about half of the state's school districts. In all, about a million students are expected to test the exams in the 17 states that are part of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a testing partnership that includes Ohio.

The Buckeye state also will have schools trying out Ohio's new social studies and science tests during the same period.

School officials say the trials are beneficial because they'll see what the exams are like and get to test the computers and Internet capabilities required for them.

"We will observe the comfort level of our students and we will be able to inquire about how prepared they felt when completing this type of online exam," said Bay Village Superintendent Clinton Keener.

But some educators are unhappy that they won't know how well the testers did.

"We will not receive student scores, which impacts the effectiveness of the overall experience," said Chagrin Falls schools superintendent Robert Hunt.

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