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Ohio Lawmakers Approve Bill To Change Federal Test Requirements

photo of Kids walking to class in the hallway of Worthington Kilbourne High School.
Dan Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Kids walk to class in the hallway of Worthington Kilbourne High School. All students will be back in the district's schools for in-person learning starting March 22.

A bill to change the way Ohio does federally mandated standardized K-12 tests this year is on its way to Gov. Mike DeWine. The bill also has a change to make sure it isn’t a moot point at the end of the school year.

The bill waives federal requirements on tests, extending the windows in which tests can be taken and reported and allowing for end of year grades to be used for graduates instead of tests.

The bill was proposed to help schools deal with the disruptions and difficulties of learning and teaching during the COVID pandemic. The Biden administration had said tests must be administered this year, which Ohio's state school superintendent supported.

Sen. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) said it also restores an emergency clause the House had removed.

“If we pass this without the emergency clause, this will happen after the school year is over," Brenner said. "If this happens after the school year is over, then all the stuff we just did here will not impact any of these seniors."

The bill also allows juniors and seniors to retake final exams if they were unable to take them. The American History test is scrapped in the bill, but Brenner says that material is covered in another test.

And diplomas can be awarded for kids who earn the OhioMeansJobs readiness seal.

Only Sen. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) voted against it. After the 32-1 vote in the Senate, the bill immediately went back to the House for the Senate's changes to be accepted, and it was approved unanimously.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.