Ohio's new high school graduation requirements under fire

HAMILTON, Ohio -- School administrators in southwest Ohio say the state's new graduation requirements will hurt many high school juniors' chances of earning a diploma.

Hamilton City Schools Superintendent Tony Orr told the Journal-News the new rules have juniors headed toward an academic "cliff."

State education officials abandoned the previously required Ohio Graduation Tests in favor of new testing.

The new system involves seven tests -- two English, two math, two social studies and one science -- that are graded on a 1-to-5 point scale. Students must earn a total of 18 points to graduate.

Orr predicts as many as 40 percent of the state's high school seniors will not be eligible to graduate during the 2017-2018 school year because of the new standard.

There are two other ways to graduate without those test scores: scoring high enough to be remediation-free on the ACT or SAT college entrance exam, or earning an approved job credential along with a passing score on the a job readiness test in career tech programs.

Fairfield City Schools' Lani Wildow, director of curriculum and instruction, said the district also is concerned.

“As of today, we do have more kids in jeopardy of not reaching the new graduation requirements than we would like, however, everyone is pulling together to make plans to assist these students as well as implement changes to our system to prevent this type of thing from happening in our future,” Wildow told the Journal-News.

Orr said at least 200 of Ohio’s 613 school district superintendents are in communication to arrange a trip Columbus in the near future and lobby state legislators and the Ohio Department of Education for changes.

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Read what other Butler County superintendents say about the requirements at the Journal-News, a WCPO media partner.

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