Reduce testing, gain local control

Clinton County, it is a call — again — for more local control.

The superintendents of twelve K-12 school districts, two career and technology centers, and the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center are joining educational leaders across Ohio in voicing concern that state edicts may continue to provide for extensive overreach in testing and are sending a strong message to state legislators regarding implementation of the recent Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

According to the U.S. Department of Education, ESSA builds on key areas of progress in recent years, as made possible by the efforts of educators, communities, parents, and students across the country. In practice, ESSA was established in part to allow for more state-driven measures on student performance targets and school ratings, with state-developed identification and intervention for district accountability.

Area superintendents from Adams, Clinton, Fayette and Highland counties, along with hundreds of other public school superintendents around the state, are speaking out to express their recommendations regarding Ohio’s plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act and committing themselves to the following beliefs:

• Public education is a critical component of an informed democracy.

• Public education serves each and every one of our students who represent the diversity

of our communities.

• Locally controlled public education with governmental support is valued over public education dominated by government regulations.

• The principal architects of the locally controlled education system in Ohio should be community members – including parents, principals, teachers, students, school board members and superintendents.

Current federal testing requirements include reading and math in grades 3-8 and one high school test. The state of Ohio, however, expands upon those minimum requirements to include testing in reading, math, science, and social studies in grades 5-8 and also requires multiple end-of-course exams for high school.

Our message is simple: Reduce testing to the federal requirements. Let our teachers teach. Let our children learn. Let our boards of education have local control.

The Superintendents of Adams, Clinton, Fayette and Highland counties urge community members to speak out for our students by contacting your state legislators and sharing with them the importance of reestablishing local control of public education.

For more information regarding ESSA and Ohio’s plan for every student, please contact your state legislator.

Rich Seas, Adams County/Ohio Valley Local Schools

Dean Lynch, Blanchester Local Schools

Ted Downing, Bright Local Schools

Matt Baker, Clinton-Massie Local Schools

Eric Magee, East Clinton Local Schools

Bill Garrett, Fairfield Local Schools

Harry Snyder, Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development

Joe Wills, Greenfield Exempted Village Schools

Jim Smith, Hillsboro City Schools

David Lewis, Miami Trace Local Schools

Brett Justice, Lynchburg-Clay Local Schools

Kevin Kratzer, Southern Hills Career Technical Center

Tony Long, Southern Ohio ESC

Matt McCorkle, Washington Court House City Schools

Ron Sexton, Wilmington City Schools