The OPTISM WWW site was originally designed for the purpose of helping anyone concerned about Ohio Proficiency Testing and Ohio School Report Cards to connect with others, to share ideas, to exchange news, and to closely monitor the political activity of the key groups involved in the OPT controversy. However, I am no longer able to maintain this site as was originally intended due to time constraints and my concentrating on ESEA-NCLB along with Ohio's compliance legislation and ODE's policies enforcing the legislation.
I have not abandoned the fight for valid testing and valid school accountability systems. As many of you know, I have been working closely with a colleague, Kathy Shook, who is an extremely experienced educator and who is now a doctoral fellow in educational administration at YSU where she is finishing her dissertation on authentic accountability systems. More specifically, we are working primarily in two important areas: First is helping educators adjust to the new mandates of ESEA-NCLB through consulting and professional development activities and graduate workshops through YSU. Second is working on developing an alternative school accountability system that is based in authentic assessment. An small example of some of the work Kathy and I have done can be found in this article we co-authored that was published in the IDE journal Democracy & Education, summer of 2003.
Everything connected to our work and to the values that motivate us supports the need for academic and institutional assessment and accountability in schooling. Opposition to the current invalid mechanisms must not be confused with opposition to having assessment programs and accountability procedures. Indeed, they are desirable and needed but they must be demonstrably valid, reliable, and fair to all those involved, especially public school educators.
Randy L. Hoover