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Ohio To Seek Federal Approval To Pilot Alternative Testing

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Fifteen school districts in Ohio would be allowed to develop and administer their own standardized tests under a federal waiver being prepared by state education officials.

The request being drafted this week by the Ohio Department of Education would launch an Innovative Learning Pilot aimed at addressing growing concern among parents, teachers and policymakers about state-administered assessments rolled out last month. Some parents concerned with the Common Core curriculum and testing fairness joined a national opt-out movement.

Spokesman John Charlton said high-performing schools tapped for the pilot are all STEM and Innovation Lab Network schools known for innovative education approaches. He said the state hopes they can carry some of that ingenuity into developing new exams.

If federal approval is granted, new tests would begin in the 2016-2017 school year.