Dear Kent families,
Last school year, our students took the new state tests, which are required by law. All of us in the Kent City Schools are encouraged about our students’ overall results. Please keep in mind that any single test is only a snapshot in time and we use several pieces of data to help guide instruction and monitor student progress.
We know there is much discussion regarding “teaching to the test” in public forums, and we want to specifically address this issue and how we approach test preparation in the Kent City Schools. Our teachers and specialists do not “teach to the test,” rather they teach and extend the Ohio Standards for each subject area. In addition to state test results, we use data, such as pre- and post-assessments, STAR testing and other ways, to help monitor student progress. Our goal is to find out what students know about a particular subject and then help them build on their skills from that starting point. Teachers and administrators are already analyzing these latest test results and utilizing that information in combination with their classroom data to determine the next steps in your child’s learning.
Students also have ample opportunities to learn test taking strategies, which carry over to other high stakes assessments in their futures, such as college admissions exams and workforce credentialing, just to mention a few. Our goal is to provide our students the best opportunities possible to be successful in a global society and in their future endeavors, whatever their career choices may be.
It is important to recognize that all of the tests had a new format and contained more rigorous content. The new high school end-of-course exams are very different from the prior OGTs, which measured more generalized knowledge than the course-specific knowledge and skills found on the new tests. As a district, we are committed to ensuring that our curriculum and instruction practices are aligned to enhance student success on all tests.
Thank you again for your support of the Kent City Schools. If you want to discuss these results further, we encourage you to contact your child’s teacher.
George J. Joseph
Kent City Schools