Superintendents’ Letter Generates Front-page Story

“Lorain County superintendents are once again calling for more local control, this time urging the state not to impose stricter guidelines than what the federal government calls for in the Every Student Succeeds Act…” This was the lead sentence of a front-page story entitled, “School leaders’ letter pleads for  local control,” that appeared this Wednesday on the front page of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram.  The story comes on the heals of a joint letter included in yesterday’s blog from Lorain County’s 16 public school superintendents to state legislators and state education leaders.

In addition, below is a press release from Lorain County’s Superintendents that was sent to the news media outlets in their area:

September 7, 2016

REDUCE STUDENT TESTING – Superintendents want Ohio to follow the recommendations of ESSA

It is a call – again – for more local control.  The Lorain County Superintendents are joining school leaders across Ohio in voicing concern that state edicts may continue to provide for extensive overreach in testing – 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, 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.

Greg Ring, Superintendent of the Educational Service Center of Lorain County, shares:

• Our hope is that the establishment of the ESSA, and removal of federal one-sizefits-all mandates, would provide Lorain County’s local districts the opportunity to re-establish more local control.
• Our reality is a continued reduction in classroom instruction time due to additional testing the state has mandated, that is beyond the federal minimum requirements.
• Our request is that state legislators reduce the testing requirement.

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

• Our message is simple – reduce testing to the federal minimum requirements.
• Let our teachers teach; let our children learn; give local control to our Boards of Education.

The Superintendents of Lorain County want to ensure our community’s voice is heard regarding Ohio’s implementation of ESSA.  The Ohio Dept. of Education will be hosting several ESSA stakeholder meetings with one in Elyria scheduled for Sept. 28 from 6:00-8:00 at LCCC, Norton Culinary Center.  Register at LorainESSA.eventbrite.com for full details.

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