“Straight Talk” Session with Michael Sawyers at #ohedconf

I’m at the Ohio Education Conference today–here are the notes from Acting Superintendent for Ohio’s “Straight Talk” session. I love these informal conversational opportunities. Feel free to email questions if something in my notes is unclear…

New IIS–
Across state procurement processes are holding up the process. They are goin to initiate their process in early spring. They cannot name their vendor today, but they are working to initiate iLearn, which will be a part of the new IIS system. They want 5-year term pricing that is affordable to all districts. There is a vendor that is in negotiations with both Ohio and Massachusetts. Two states combined will make this less expensive for both states.

IIS will be provided to Rttt districts for 2013-2015. Primary goal is to keep the cost very low. You will be “shocked” at how low the price is.

Why are we aligning with Mass?

State went after other states who were also in RTTT. Other states aren’t doing this right now.

At the high level, the OGT will be replaced by 10 EOC. 3 in ELA (1, 2, 3) most likely the equivalent of Eng 9, 10, 11….no word on final names, EOY assessment in ELA. In math, you will have ALg 1, Geo, Alg 11. There are the two options. There are two Ohio specific exams in Hist and Science. These are requirements…for a total of 10 EOC exams. They will be required to participate when they are within the course structure, which means when students take or have avvess to the curricula, they will be required to take the exam (ex. 8th grade). 20-30% for EOC exams. They are looking at a 10th grade CCR exam, have put out an RFP for bendors to create. Participation will be required as part of meeting graduation reuirements. This new test will be administered no later than fall of 2014. May be implemented in Fall of 2013. State will pay for that administration….

Transition discussions are taking place. If you’re in alg 1, you will take alg 1 exam, NOT 8th grade exam

How will these translate to local report cards?
Legislation currently says by December 31, the GA will come up with the new accountability system. One indicator for fure local report cards (fall 14, 15), may show the disaggregated results on the 10th grade readiness exam

End of Course exams would still be on the local report cards and would be related to Performance Index.

The CCR 10th sounds like a one-time shot…Yes, it is intended to be a one-time shot.

PARCC is developing a CCR exam as well….

Schedule for testing in elementary and middle?

Windows for testing will be much larger and will allow students to take them when they are ready. The exact dates and windows are to be determined. The results will be returned much quicker. Goal is by the end of month to have a test bluprint. Will show the testing schedule. Current conversations for SS reflect 4 and 6 for SS and 5 and 8. Blueprint will include when OGT will phase out. Discussion is taking place about 2013-15…currently entering 9th grades in 2013 will fall under current high stakes tests.

PARCC doesn’t know how long the exams will take…Sawyers says most testing windows will probably be longer, but these are not controlled environments in the same way that students are currently expected to take the standardized tests. Will have to come up with plan for what students can do when they’ve finished taking the tech-based test.

Performance based assessments would be a part of the entire testing window. Is there are merge between the PBA and EOC/EOY? It will be technology based. At the high school, it hasn’t been decided how the PBA portion of the test will count, but the idea is that it will be 20-30% of the course grade. Currently, the PBA looks a lot like extended response–that is not what Ohio was looking for as being “Performance Based”

ELA is currently END OF YEAR, not END OF COURSE currently

We live in a high stakes environment right now that requires students to pass to graduate. The thinking is that if a student can’t pass the EOC in a course, they can’t pass the class and get the credit so they would have to retake the course. If we stay at credits and EOC–70-80% of the credit will be determined locally. They are very sensitive to that because they know how the math happens and they are going to give very specific guidelines about how the local 70-80% will be determined.

Ohio’s ESEA Waiver
Ohio has until June 30, 2013, to come up with the future of Ohio’s local report card. They are trying to work through the logistics of having a report card that will look different each of the next three years. They are trying to come up with a transition for the report card. The idea is an end product–what will ultimately be on that final report in 2015 when the PARCC scores are finally online. End goal is a final report card that shows indicators for college and career readiness. They have to refile with federal government, or the waiver expires.

Has there been any discussion about the alternate assessment for students with disabilities?
There was some discussion about whether or not thee would be a waiver on 1%…There is no intent in moving past the 1%

For an extremely poor districts…Is there a place the tech people can go to get more info?
They have been doing the tech readiness tool to survey the entire state. They know there are some issues with how much technology is out there and it’s equity; they also know there are infrastructure issues. These are all issues that PARCC states are all dealing with. There are conversations about what devices will even be acceptable (including iPads vs computer, hard wired or not). There are some basic minimum requirements on the PARCC website. They requirements are very low. Make sure new purchases meet PARCC minimum tech requirements from their website.

EDIT:  November 15–The PARCC minimum tech specifications DO SAY that iPads are acceptable, so I am not sure why Sawyers would say devices are up for discussion.  As of today, I emailed PARCC directly with that question to find out from the source.  Will update with their response when it is available.

3rd Grade Reading Guarantee creates significant and profound difficulties for staffing with the mid-year potential moves of students. Is there going to be any flexibility in this?
There have been conversations particularly involving the reading endorsement. Colleges range from 12-18 semester hours to get the reading endorsement. They know it’s not reality for districts. A student does not get holistically retained to third grade, they are being retained due to literacy. They need to go forward in their other subjects if they are able to do so. They are having licensure conversations and will continue to work on the flexibility. Long term, Sawyers foresees a change in state licensure in relation to teaching profession, specifically in concerning certain reading content or math content. We need to fundamentally change teacher prep and changes in licensure.

Because praxis is going away and Pearson is developing the new assessments for new licensures. They will be moving toward content specification for certain grade levels (ex. elementary teachers would need to show pedagogical knowledge as well as content expertise in reading and math).


3 thoughts on ““Straight Talk” Session with Michael Sawyers at #ohedconf

  1. Pingback: Ohio Creating One-Stop Educator Shop for School Data, Tests, Lessons | StateImpact Ohio

  2. Pingback: Takeaways from the Ohio Department of Education’s Straight-Talk Express | StateImpact Ohio

  3. Pingback: HB555 and What It Means for Ohio’s Schools « Turn On Your Brain

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