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March 10, 2017
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This spring all juniors in Ohio will take the ACT or SAT test for free at their home high school. The tests are gateways to college and a new opportunity for students to participate in a familiar environment at no cost to families.

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Partnership publishes Resolving Ohio's Testing Conundrum

The truth is that we can no longer afford to focus on graduating learners armed only with pre-determined skills and (already existing) knowledge. The workforce is becoming far too global, too digital, and increasingly too self-employed. We must instead refocus on cultivating creativity, to include not only problem solving but also problem finding and problem framing." - Building Ohio's Future Workforce, Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation 
Resolving Ohio_s Testing Conundrum

The Stark Education Partnership has published a white paper  - Resolving Ohio's Testing Conundrum[1] - calling for the State Board of Education and the General Assembly to incorporate new workforce thinking into its accountability plan. Our belief is that Ohio needs to end its nearly exclusive dependence on standardized tests for graduation and school assessment. Instead, we recommend that the state establish a hybrid system of graduation requirements and school assessments, and restore authority to local communities.

Federal guidelines in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) require an accountability plan in April or September 2017. This unparalleled opportunity allows the state to examine its current system of standards, instruction, and accountability. After reviewing the draft state plan, we offer the following suggestions:
  • Reduce the testing footprint by eliminating the seven additional tests no longer required by ESSA;
  • Use the time and resources gained from the testing reduction to develop new pedagogies focused on Deep Learning [2] competencies that link learning to real life;
  • Move away from growth models and apply workforce thinking, as described in Clayton Christensen's Jobs to be Done [3] framework, to instruction and assessment;
  • Create a universal freshman academy using adaptive technology to prepare all students for college or careers;
  • Authorize local school boards and faculties to use course grades by teachers to award students points towards Ohio's Graduation Requirements;
  • Restore the process to use the ACT/SAT and WorkKeys Industry Credentials as substitute measures for end of course tests (EOCTs) towards graduation requirements;
  • Expand the use of College Credit Plus (CCP), Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) scores as substitutes for EOCTs or to gain points towards graduation;
  • Institute a process to develop relevant local report cards with local districts and their communities;
  • Create a joint K-12/higher education/business innovation committee to generate new avenues for student success using a Jobs to be Done approach, rather than static instruction with a retrospective growth model.
About the Partnership Long Header
The Stark Education Partnership - a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Stark County, Ohio -  is a catalyst, engaging and collaborating with education, business, civic and community stakeholders to drive sustainable improvement and innovation to provide all students with education and career success.  

Questions or comments? Email or call 330-452-0829. Visit our website at
Stark Education Partnership, 400 Market Avenue North - Suite B, Canton, OH 44702
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