In response to a June 4 Gadfly article about Ohio's proficiency standards, State Board of Education member Colleen Grady comments about board members' consideration of student proficiency testing:

As recently as the May meeting, the state board did briefly discuss the need to raise "cut scores" for some of Ohio's assessments. Three years ago when the first set of cut scores were adopted, the board included a provision to "review and revise" within three years. The board was told that the initial recommendations were a "starting point" that could/would be changed as districts became accustomed to tests and alignment of instruction improved. Based on that understanding, the board should have received new recommendations this month. Unfortunately no changes have been presented by ODE for board consideration.

While Ohio has made substantial progress, that progress has come against some fairly low expectations. If we're serious about "best in the world" our definition of proficient must rise and our definition of excellence at the district level has to be more than 75 percent of students meeting minimum requirements.

Colleen Grady
State Board of Education, District 5

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