The Cincinnati Enquirer
September 3-5, 2000
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OHIO PROFICIENCY TESTS
The Cincinnati Enquirer and the Associated Press examine the Ohio Proficiency tests in a three-day series.

Sunday, September 3, 2000

High-stakes state tests raise stress, controversy
        A growing number of teachers, parents, school administrators and even some lawmakers question the education offered in Ohio's classrooms since the state decreed students must pass proficiency tests. They say the tests, intended to improve academic skills, are making things worse.

Monday, September 4, 2000

Ohio schools aren't making the grade
        Not just children get punished for bad report cards these days. School districts across Ohio are taking a beating because they can't achieve high grades based on the rates at which their students pass mandatory proficiency tests.

Ratings for area school districts
        In the Tristate, school districts have earned the following Ohio Department of Education ratings:

Ohio is in dark on cheating
        Shortly after state proficiency tests in March, a parent of a fourth-grader in Alliance called Stark County education officials to say a teacher had helped students cheat. The case got statewide attention, but nobody really knows how unusual it was. Ohio's 611 school districts are allowed to handle allegations of cheating on state proficiency tests without notifying the state.

Tuesday, September 5, 2000

Test failures raise angst
        Of every five third-graders in Ohio schools, two might flunk fourth grade unless proficiency test scores improve. That possibility has upset parents and educators and sent some lawmakers scurrying to roll back legal requirements.

On The Web

  Web sites with information about proficiency tests and school standards include:
 • National Center for Fair and Open Testing: www.fairtest.org
 • Ohio Department of Education: www.ode.state.oh.us
 • Ohio Department of Education Report Card Site:
www.ode.state.oh.us/reportcard/lrc.htm
 • Ohio Education Association schedule for Sept. 26 statewide proficiency tests forums: www.oea.columbus.oh.us/news/proforums.htm
 • Ohio School Boards Association: www.osba-ohio.org/
 • Sample questions from proficiency tests: www.state.oh.us/proficiency/samples.htm
 • Stop Ohio Proficiency Tests: www.stopopts.org/
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