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Ohio Proficiency Test

When most people think of their childhood, they think of happy times, when they had no cares, no responsibilities. Most people would never think of putting unneeded pressures on little kids. However, I feel that this has happened. Today children are put under a large amount of pressure in school, to pass the Ohio Proficiency Test (O. P. T). In 1995 the fourth grade O. P. T was administered for the first time, then in 1996 the science portion was added, and the sixth grade O. P. T was administered for the first time.

Surely a big test like this would put enough pressure on young kids. In July of 1998 it was decided the pressure was not enough, senate bill 55 was passed. Bill 55 required districts to assess reading skills of students at the end of grades, one, two, and three, identifying students reading below grade level. Third grade students reading below grade level, are offered an intense summer remediation. Districts must also offer summer remediation for students who are below proficient three or more fourth or sixth grade proficiency test.

Bill 55 also made it possible for districts to retain students who are below proficient in three or more fourth or sixth grade proficiency test. As of July 1, 2001 school year, districts must begin to administer the fourth grade reading section of the proficiency test during the fall, spring and summer. Districts must retain fourth grade students if they do not meet the score identified on the proficiency test in reading. They must also offer another chance to take the reading test in the summer after fourth grade.

Kids now have the fear of being held back if they are not able to score proficiently. Kids are of course offered an intense summer remediation for reading help. This however, still puts pressure on the child to pass. As for the other sections of the proficiency test, there are no extra courses offered to help the kids. The only second chance the children will get to take other parts of the test will be in their second year of fourth or sixth grade. Its understood that everyone wants younger generations to be well educated.

The O. P. T may not be the best way to tell if the children are learning well. Taking into consideration all the pressure the kids are put under to pass the test, the results may not be 100 % accurate. Childhood along with education is very important. When we take away the feeling of no responsibilities, and the care free feeling, we are taking away a big part of childhood. Kids should be able to cherish there childhood, rather than worry so much about school. Testing children is not a bad thing, however, putting so much pressure on a child to do good can be a bad thing.

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