The following letter was sent home with all students in grades K-8 last week. This letter outlines an upcoming meeting that we hope you will attend. This meeting will be held in conjunction with a local parent group, Firelands Parents Supporting our Children and Teachers.
Dear Parents/Guardians and Teachers:
In conjunction with the parent group, Firelands Parents Supporting our Children and Teachers, I am writing to invite you to a community meeting regarding Ohio’s new assessment system on Thursday, June 11th at 7:00 pm in the Firelands High School gymnasium.
As many of you are aware, our district, along with all other public school districts in Ohio, recently completed the first year of administering Ohio’s new assessments (PARCC and AIR). Over the past year, many parents have questioned the purpose behind these assessments and the consequences they have had, such as lost instructional time, retention and graduation and many parents have chosen to refuse/opt their children out of the assessments.
While the timing of this meeting may seem out of place given that the school year is over, our elected officials in Columbus are currently working on the biennium budget, which will directly impact school funding, and specifically, will determine funding for the assessments public school districts will be mandated to administer over the next two years. In addition, the Senate Advisory Committee on Testing will be making recommendations regarding state mandated assessments for the 2015-2016 school year.
During our meeting, we hope to hear from several of our local elected officials as well as educators from across Lorain County. This will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions that you may have. As you may have read in the newspaper recently, Lorain County Superintendents have been discussing issues of local control and mandated assessments, as well as encouraging their communities to contact elected officials with their input surrounding these matters. All public school shareholders are encouraged to attend this meeting.
As the landscape of public education continues to evolve, we feel it is important to be open and transparent regarding the role assessment has on teaching and learning. This will also be an excellent opportunity to discuss what we as a community can do to advocate for our children. We look forward to hosting this event and hope that you will consider attending.
Mike Von Gunten
Director of Educational Services
Firelands Local School District