Ohio schools question in-person test mandates during online learning

Alissa Widman Neese
| The Columbus Dispatch

Even if they’re learning online from home, Ohio’s third-graders will soon be expected to return to school buildings to take a state-mandated reading test, unless legislators act quickly to make an exception to current state law.

Representatives of the Ohio 8 coalition, an alliance of superintendents and teachers union presidents from the state’s eight largest school districts, discussed the issue during a call with reporters Friday morning. It highlighted pending legislation that could affect an unprecedented school year hit by COVID-19.

Senate Bill 358, introduced Aug. 27, would waive state testing requirements and direct the Ohio Department of Education to ask for test waivers at the federal level. It would also prohibit the department from issuing annual school district report cards this school year and next. The bipartisan bill has received three hearings, the most-recent on Sept. 23.

More: Senate Bill 358


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Total of 106 students, 57 staffers test positive for COVID in Massachusetts schools over the last week, education officials report

Massachusetts school districts have reported 106 new coronavirus cases over the last week among students who are learning in-person or through hybrid instruction, according to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Additionally, DESE reports 57 new COVID-19 cases among district staff members. The new cases reflect reporting between Oct. 1 through Oct. 7 across school districts, charter schools, collaboratives and approved special education schools.

The data includes positive cases for students in hybrid or in-person learning models, excluding students in districts that are learning only remotely. Staff cases include employees who have been in a district building within the seven days before the report of the positive case.

Notably, there were eight new cases among students in Haverhill schools, five among students in Hudson schools and Burlington schools and four among students in Hingham schools. Every other district saw three or fewer new cases, with the vast majority

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