Opinion: OGT importance

By Olivia Holland — In a five paragraph essay, please describe your favorite season and why.

I have encountered this question on school exams and standardized tests since the state of Ohio and the federal government have required me to showcase to them the knowledge to which I owe my teachers and common sense.

In first grade, I would have said my favorite season in summer because of the school holiday and my neighbor’s pool. Now, I must expect myself to write in an Emerson-style vernacular for two and a half hours while worrying about the snoring kid next to me.

In Ohio Graduate Test (OGT) practice sessions on programs such as the dreaded Study Island where students answer questions such as which leader in the 1950s and 1960s became synonymous with the Civil Rights Movement in the US. Incontestably false choices are crowded around the correct answer that sticks out like a sore thumb.

Many freshmen and sophomore students that take the OGT and similar practice tests are constantly asking one question: Why do we need to take this? The usual replies by teachers include ‘The state of Ohio requires you to do so’ and my personal favorite, “Don’t ask me. I don’t know”.

According to the to Ohio Department of Education, the OGT must be passed for a student to graduate from high school. Opposition to mandatory testing can be heard from parents to students to teachers.

“I think the OGT should be mandatory because if you do not know what the teachers are teaching, you should not be able to go to college,” sophomore Taylor Rinehart said.

On Jan. 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into effect the No Child Left Behind Act in Hamilton High School in Hamilton, Ohio. It set a series of standards for students to perform up to in reading and math tests. Several states, including Ohio, are exempt from some standards set by the act as of last year.

Blame the government, blame the school, and blame your teachers all you would like. The only thing that will ease your mind and anger about mandatory testing is completing the test and sitting back to admire your work.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]