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Orange Schools News Article

Results, Response to New State Assessments


With all the changes and controversies surrounding state testing over the last several years, we wanted to share with you some information on how the Orange City School District is responding to the most recent assessments.

What exactly are the Ohio AIR tests?

  • The State of Ohio introduced the new Ohio Achievement Assessments prepared by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) this past year to replace the controversial PARCC testing. Orange will use this year’s results as a baseline for future tests.

  • The AIR tests include the areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. The standards are designed to allow for greater focus and depth within topics and skills.

  • All state assessments are now required to be taken online only which will be a learning curve for school districts across the state. Previous state assessments offered both online and pencil-and-paper testing.

  • The next set of state AIR tests will take place in November for five consecutive days (English Language, third graders) and December for 10 consecutive days (OHS Fall Semester End of Course Exams). The remaining AIR tests will take place in the spring.

  • Students will take the state AIR assessments in the following grade level and subject areas:
    • Moreland Hills School:
      • 3rd grade - English Language Arts & Mathematics
      • 4th grade - English Language Arts, Mathematics & Social Studies
      • 5th grade - English Language Arts, Mathematics & Science
    • Brady Middle School:
      • 6th grade - English Language Arts, Mathematics & Social Studies
      • 7th grade - English Language Arts & Mathematics
      • 8th grade - English Language Arts, Mathematics & Science
    • Orange High School:
      • 9th & 10th graders enrolled in the following courses:
      • Biology
      • Advanced Algebra 1
      • Algebra 1B
      • Geometry
      • English 9
      • English 10
    • All OHS students will take the following exams:
      • 20th Century Government
      • American History
How did Orange students perform on the 2016 state report card compared to the 2015 results?
  • Orange students excelled on many of the tests, but scores are lower in several areas.
Orange - Full ODE 2016 Report Card - - - - ODE 2016 Guide
  • The Progress component (Value-added) helps educators measure the impact schools and teachers have on students’ academic progress rates from year to year. A grade of a “C” is equal to one year of growth.

  • In a district the size of Orange, each individual student's score has a significant impact on the results of each school and the District. How one or two students perform on a particular test or test question can drastically influence the District and building results. As an example, one student identified under three different gap closing areas caused the high school achievement gap grade to drop two levels.

  • Due to the state raising the proficiency percentages, most school districts in Ohio saw a decrease in test scores. Adding to that was the state requirement of all online testing and the question format being new for students and teachers. While these changes impact testing, the District still needs to study ways to improve student achievement.

  • Since the 2016 state assessments are based on the first time students in Ohio are taking the full AIR tests, we can’t compare the results with the 2015 PARCC results, but rather it should be used as baseline data since the test and criteria is completely different. Read more here.

  • Using the Performance Index measure, Orange’s ranks in the top 14% in the state of Ohio

What is the Orange School District doing to improve state assessment scores?
  • Orange is using the 2016 results as a baseline that will allow us to measure results next year and in future years.

  • The 2016 results will help us focus on areas where we need improvement. Our goal is to improve state test score by incorporating the state standards into the curriculum while maintaining Orange’s tradition of providing unique and innovative programming.

  • We will continue the work of our teacher-based teams and building leadership teams that began two years ago to analyze student data. We will use that data as we put into effect formal protocols to ensure that the work of the teams is focused and purposeful.

  • We are implementing the Orange Achievement Plan (OAP) into our student learning focus and teaching strategies. OAP is a structured improvement plan based on the Ohio Improvement Process and will help us develop instructional strategies that ensure students will master the state standards. This plan will involve collaborative leadership teams at the District and school levels, along with teacher teams at each school, to share successes and challenges.

  • OAP will allow us to improve student achievement on the state tests without sacrificing the 21st Century learning and authentic engagement opportunities we have used over the years. Staff will begin focusing on the OAP this month. This will be the teachers’ focus at our October professional development day.

  • Although this will mean a lot of hard work, Orange’s collaborative culture and existing staff development efforts will allow us to quickly incorporate OAP.
What is the status of the state test waiver the District applied for last year?
  • The waiver received approval from the state level, but is still awaiting federal approval. With the federal government switching from “No Child Left Behind” to ESSA, this process of approval is still on hold. We will keep you informed should things change.
Will the Orange Achievement Plan mean Orange will be “teaching to the test”?
  • Absolutely NOT! Orange understands the importance of reaching high achievement on state testing without sacrificing the engaged learning experiences children deserve. Orange has a very rigorous curriculum and a highly qualified teaching staff that is dedicated to student learning.

  • The state has a set of standards it requires school districts to follow. By implementing the OAP within the Orange learning environment it will allow us to continue offering students engaging, innovative and creative lessons while addressing state achievement results.

  • Orange is about more than test scores. Please visit our Quality Profile webpage to see a few of the many things Orange students are achieving beyond state testing.

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