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Ohio Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Schools More Time For Spring Tests

Kids walk to class in the hallway of Worthington Kilbourne High School. All students will be back in the district's schools for in-person learning starting March 22.
Dan Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Kids walk to class in the hallway of Worthington Kilbourne High School. All students will be back in the district's schools for in-person learning starting March 22.

Ohio students would have extra time to take state-mandated tests interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic under an emergency measure passed unanimously by the Ohio House.

The bill waives federal requirements on tests, extending the windows in which tests can be taken and reported, and allowing for end-of-year grades to be used for graduates instead of test results.

The bill was proposed to help schools deal with the disruptions and difficulties of learning and teaching during the COVID pandemic. The Biden administration had said tests must be administered this year, which Ohio's state school superintendent Paolo DeMaria supported.

State Sen. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) said the measure also restores an emergency clause the House had removed.

“If we pass this without the emergency clause, this will happen after the school year is over," Brenner said. "If this happens after the school year is over, then all the stuff we just did here will not impact any of these seniors."

The bill also allows juniors and seniors to retake final exams if they were unable to take them. The American History test is scrapped in the bill, but Brenner says that material is covered in another test.

High school diplomas can also be awarded to students who earn the OhioMeansJobs readiness seal.

Only state Sen. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) voted against the bill. After the 32-1 vote in the Senate, the bill immediately went back to the House for the Senate's changes to be accepted, and it was approved unanimously.