“It takes several years for kids to become accustomed to a new test, and for teachers to know how to prepare students for it,” said Lehner, R-Kettering. “You’ll always see kids do worse at the beginning of new tests. … Because graduation is dependent on this, that’s pretty high stakes, so it seems only fair to give these kids in the beginning an opportunity.”
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Many educators have suggested that 30 percent of the Class of 2018 wouldn’t graduate under the existing system, which requires most students to score 18 of a possible 35 points on end-of-course exams.
Class of 2018 students would still have to earn the required number of course credits, take all end-of-course exams, and retake any of those math or English exams on which they earned a score of 1 or 2 on a 5-point scale. But they wouldn’t have to pass the exams.
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If they didn’t score the required 18 of 35 points, they could graduate by meeting any two of nine other requirements:
* 93 percent attendance senior year
* A 2.5 GPA in at least four full-year senior-year courses
* A senior-year “capstone” project
* 120 hours of senior-year work or community service
* Three credit hours via College Credit Plus
* Passage of an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate class and exam
* A “level three” score on each of three components of the WorkKeys test
* Industry credentials totaling at least three points in Ohio’s system
* Receive an Ohio Means Jobs readiness seal.
A second provision would create a graduation pathway for students who complete a four-course career technical training program, and are either proficient on the technical exams, earn 12 points of credentials, or work 250-plus hours with positive evaluations.