Springfield City Schools, STEM Academy and YS School District Apply for Testing Waivers
Both Springfield and Yellow Springs school districts are applying for a five-year waiver to opt out of significant state and federal testing requirements. There was a little staged magic involved in today's press conference on the issue.
Both Springfield and Yellow Springs are part of the Innovation Lab Network - a group of schools that use alternative teaching models. Estrop was also speaking for the Global STEM Academy in Springfield that is also applying for a waiver.
Superintendent of Springfield City Schools, David Estrop noted that a recently enacted law allows the state to waive testing requirements for these alternative programs, so students' progress can be evaluated more on overall performance.
"There's just too much testing and it came too soon and it spread across too many grades," he said. "We started crusading about a year ago saying to the General Assembly, 'you need to slow this testing thing down.'"
Mario Basora from the Yellow Springs School District agrees with Estrop.
"We need to measure what we value and not try to find a way to value what we measure. We believe that we need to set our values high and look at measuring what we think is important for kids in the 21 Century," he explained.
Estrop and Basora left for Columbus after the press conference to hand deliver their waiver requests to State schools Superintendent Richard Ross. He can approve up to ten waivers around the state. Waivers applications are due March 2 and Ross will have 30 days to decide their fate. Both superintendents are hoping they found the magic to get theirs approved.