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Foul Weather Extends State Testing Windows

It's every student's dream: a record-setting year for school cancellations because of bad weather. Of course that dream for kids becomes a nightmare for educators as they scramble to cover their material in less time, or see their cherished summer vacations eaten away by extended school calendars.

Some places are having to revise testing windows, too. Ohio just announced, for instance, that schools will get an additional week to prepare students for spring testing. Indiana extended its testing window, too, as did Pennsylvania, and doubtless there are other states and districts that did likewise, since frigid temperatures, ice, and snow have created joy (for students) and agony (for teachers and administrators) on an epic scale this year.

There are domino effects from extending the testing windows. The Ohio legislature, for instance, will be faced with making a legal change to allow test results to be reported later.

While the extension is intended to make up for lost time, it will also squeeze people up and down the system. Administrators will be reaching for headache relievers once again as they try to rework their master schedules, and teachers will be trashing yet another incarnation of lesson schedules.

Curiously, in Ohio, the extra time for testing applies to students in grades to 3-8, but not to those in high school, even though high school students must pass a state test to graduate. (Too bad, kids, despite all those snow days, there will be no added time to cram before the test!) Apparently this is because if the high school testing window were extended, there wouldn't be time to get results back before graduation. No one, it appears, wanted to consider delaying graduation by a week.

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