A new round of standardized tests for students is on the horizon.

A new round of standardized tests for students is on the horizon.

The state of Ohio recently joined 16 states and the District of Columbia of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. PARCC is one of two multi-state partnerships that received federal Race to the Top funding to develop the assessment system for the common core state standards for English, language arts and mathematics, which have been adopted by Ohio and 43 other states.

Changes in the new assessments include the move from pencil and paper to online test-taking.

While students in general are accustomed to an online environment, the district has a responsibility to get students accustomed to online test-taking, said district assistant superintendent of curriculum John Kellogg.

If all students are to take online tests, "that's going to generate a lot of focus," he said.

"It's just a matter of communication to the community," he said of the impending changes.

The district also is responsible for ensuring it has aligned its curriculum to content standards that will be tested. Instruction also would need to focus on the manner in which students will be assessed.

The new content standards already are defined as the new common core standards for grades K-12, Kellogg said. The changes are an effort to improve academic achievement and create a system to provide college and career readiness.

As a practical example, Kellogg said the new high school requirements include four years of math, including algebra 2 or its equivalent. Currently, high school students can graduate with three years of math. They are not required to take algebra 2.

The new requirements will affect the class of 2014, now in its sophomore year.

The district began to roll out the new core curriculum standards two years ago as part of its normal curriculum schedule. It is in the process of implementing the new math content standards for grades 7-12.

The district has a goal of finishing the content revisions before the 2014 -15 school year, Kellogg said.

The new tests eventually will replace the Ohio Graduation Test and the Ohio Achievement Assessment, said Ohio Department of Education spokesperson Dennis Evans. It is yet to be determined whether the OGT and OAA will be done away with by the 2014-2015 school year, and how the new tests will be phased in.

Also to be determined is whether every assessment or even an entire assessment will take place online, Evans said. The OGT and OAA use multiple-choice questions. In addition to multiple-choice questions, the new tests will have written response and technology-enhanced items, along with performance tasks. Each of the governing states within PARCC will have a vote on items and questions within the tests.