I really like the popular expression, just saying. It’s a great way to emphasize a point in a somewhat understated way without jamming it down a person’s throat. With that said, I’ve been under the impression for quite some time that the results of the high stakes tests currently mandated by the state of Ohio are not an effective way to help students learn. They are used primarily to grade the quality of our public schools. In a recent conversation with a school district curriculum director, I asked the question: Is my impression accurate and what can be done to make state testing more effective? Her response was immediate. First, reduce the number of high stakes tests to the benchmark required by federal law which means eliminating seven of Ohio’s tests. Second, return test results in a timely manner by making them available during the current school year. Third, publish test data that enables educators to identify gaps in learning so they can provide students with remedial support. Now, I’m a journalist, not an educator, but it makes no sense to me to have students in a school system spend hundreds, if not thousands, of hours as well as taxpayers dollars preparing for and taking high stakes tests that can’t even be used to help them learn. What’s more, I think most people I know would agree with me. Just saying.