Lawmakers need to act to clean up mess over testing

More than a few young adults have complained their high school civics classes did not give them a realistic idea of how government works. But Ohio students are on the verge of getting practical experience with a state-level fiasco.

In 2009, the state Department of Education began preparing a new set of examinations for high school students, intended to test their readiness for college or careers. The new exams are ready for use in the 2014-15 school year.

They were intended to replace the current state-required graduation tests. But somewhere along the line, the General Assembly was asleep in class.

It seems that without an act by legislators, the state will be required to give high school sophomores both tests. That could cost the state as much as $75 million unnecessarily – not to mention the aggravation and confusion it will cause for students and teachers.

Legislators were asked earlier this year to eliminate the current Ohio Graduation Test officially – but they did not. Now, a few lawmakers are objecting to the very basis of the new examination.

For crying out loud. Educators and their pupils do not have the luxury of dithering for years about what to teach and how to test learning. It should not be too much to ask that legislators decide carefully on state policy, then proceed without wasting years of effort and, no doubt, millions of dollars before thinking about reversing course.

The General Assembly should make a decision on tests this fall, then stick to it.


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