7030 Coffman Road
Dublin, Ohio 43017
P 614-764-5913
F 614-761-5856
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Dublin City Schools strives to provide well-rounded education

As we continue to analyze the results of our surveys administered in February, one of the messages that came through loud and clear from both parents and staff, is the perception that students take too many tests.

In Dublin, we agree that this remains a challenge for not just our schools, but all schools across Ohio as well. What defines an excellent district is far more than test scores. Although we must continue to teach to help students prepare for the achievement tests, maintaining high quality schools involves much more. 

In 2004-05, there were seven state mandated tests our students were required to take in grades K-12. Today, the number of state mandated tests our students take is 16 and counting.

Next year, between Feb. 17 and April 15 of 2015, third graders in Dublin City Schools will sit for 10 different assessments in just the subjects of reading and math. Students in grades K-8 are also subjected to a battery of gifted assessments in not only reading and math, but science, social studies, and cognitive abilities as well. These gifted identification tests are required by the state.

All these assessments require an enormous amount of preparation time on the part of our staff, and cost our district in instructional time for students and in dollars for the materials we must purchase in order to meet the state mandated requirements. No additional funding for Ohio schools accompanies the seemingly never-ending stream of state required tests. More assessments are being moved to an on-line format, requiring upgrades in technology and significant additional cost for many districts in Ohio.

Additionally, when the Ohio legislature made the switch to letter grades for schools and Districts, we have had to develop our own assessments for subjects not evaluated in a traditional manner such as music, physical education, and art.

The short and simple question is why do we give our students so many assessments?

The answer is they are required by the State of Ohio and it isn’t going to change any time soon.

The new academic content standards being implemented next year will bring with them a new round of assessments. The next generation of assessments will be given throughout grades 3-8 in reading, math, science, and social studies. Another reason the state has added tests is for teacher evaluation purposes. Growth measures are now part of every teacher’s evaluation, regardless of subject, and additional assessments are required to measure growth.

Simply acknowledging that testing is overemphasized in today’s public education system does not fix the issue. In fact, we embrace accountability and realize it is essential to maintain the quality of Ohio schools. Our parents, teachers and taxpayers are better informed about our schools because of report cards and data, but it’s only part of the story.  Our students deserve a well-rounded education beyond test scores, and need tools for success that go far beyond the skills they need to perform well on standardized tests.

Creativity and innovation, the ability to think critically, communication skills, collaborative work, global awareness, financial literacy, information literacy and more are crucial components of our students’ overall development. These skills play a critical role in getting our students career and college ready, and Dublin City Schools, with the help of our extremely supportive parents and community, are ready to meet these ongoing challenges in order to maintain our top rated schools.
In the coming weeks and months, our District will be working hard toward setting goals for the 2014-15 school year, and setting guiding philosophical principles. We must find the right balance in order to ensure every child will receive a well-rounded education in an authentic, high-tech learning environment, while learning to collaborate, create and think critically.
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