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Is state testing helping students?

Practices for football and marching band have begun, and back-to-school sales are under way. School is about to start, but in Ohio students and teachers will return as a cloud of suspicion gathers over one of the key elements of the state’s educational program – testing.

Administrators in three school districts, including Lockland in Hamilton County, have been accused of cheating to make their state test scores, and ultimately their state report cards, look better. The state auditor is now investigating all districts in Ohio, suspecting that the cheating is widespread….

At this point, the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio School Board are failing their most important test: confidence….

At the very least, these stories have eroded confidence in the state-mandated testing system. And this comes just as Ohio is preparing to move to a more rigorous set of tests that may determine if high-schoolers can graduate or not and whether third graders can be promoted to the fourth grade.

This would be an appropriate time to hit the pause button, conduct a nonpartisan review led by outside experts and determine whether the state’s current system of testing has improved student effectiveness.

Cincinnati Enquirer