YOUNGTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The class of 2018 will be the first in Ohio that has to meet new requirements to graduate high school. But a group of educators says that may prevent many students from graduating.
Earlier this month, the State Board of Education threw its support behind new pathways to graduation for the Class of 2018. But until those changes are approved, students could be heading into their final summer break not knowing what they need to do to graduate.
A special work group spoke to the State Board a few weeks ago suggesting that the 2018 class should be allowed to use other factors like attendance, grade point average and work-study experience to graduate. Those additional options were presented to the Ohio Board of Education on Aprill 11. A vote is set for June.
Kim Davis, director of teaching and learning at the Mahoning County Educational Service Center, says that additional pathways to graduation are needed.
“These pathways are being created that we give them additional pathways to earn their diploma but still under some sense of rigor,” Davis said.
Right now the class of 2018 has to meet one of three requirements to graduate:
- ACT score of 18 or higher in English and 22 in Math. (Students entering high school prior to July 1, 2014 would need to earn a score of 21 in English.)
- Earn 18 points on an end of course exam
- Earn credit through a state-approved career field of study.
“What our superintendents are telling us and our data is showing is that there will be significantly more students not graduating than we’ve seen historically,” Davis said.
Davis said the end of course exams are difficult and come with higher stakes than final exams. The tests also require different course work that teachers have to adjust to, which takes time.