Under the previous testing program endorsed by the State of Ohio for public schools, “Common Core,” Norwalk City Schools did not do well. There was much ado from educators about the failure of the testing program (not the schools) — primarily, that it required “teaching to the test,” which took time away from educator-favored curricula.
The squawking reached a crescendo and the state relented by approving a new test battery favored by educators. The latest report card shows “A’s and F’s” despite this overhaul of the battery.
The superintendent, George Fisk, was recently quoted in the paper, explaining that student assessments must drive lesson planning and went on to blame the state for not providing adequate funding. These assertions are contradictory to other stated positions.
We are either going to teach to the test or not, and high school is not a higher education liberal arts institution — by necessity, the state has a heavy hand in the curriculum K-12.
As far as Fisks’s blaming a lack of funds for achievement failure, the local schools had lost control of expenses and ended up in deficit spending. The 5 For 5 levy was pitched to balance the budget — but not to increase spending — in fact, the latter, which occurred.
What Fisk claimed in the Reflector is a broad state-wide failure by the Ohio legislature on funding and testing grounds. The truth is that our schools locally are well-funded, 5 Over 5 (five million per year), but we got the same results with a second set of achievement tests.
Speaking of handwriting, is it on the wall?