New graduation standards for Ohio high school students proposed

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As lawmakers look to change the standards of high school graduation requirements, both the Ohio Department of Education and other educational groups are looking towards the future of how best to educate high school student to ensure they are job ready.

Among the proposals is one from Ohio Excels a business-backed group looking to target at-risk students who have been identified as not on the path to graduation.

Among the groups' proposals:

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  • Identify students as early as possible who are not on track for graduation;
  • Include supports and interventions to ensure students have ample time and opportunity to develop the needed knowledge and skills;
  • Provide professional development and training to educators so they are able to successfully implement supports to better prepare students for success;
  • Ensure schools have the resource investments to effectively implement interventions for students and training for educators;
  • Expect a minimum level of math and English competency that will lead to success after high school and not require college-level remediation;
  • Provide students the flexibility to demonstrate competency in a way that aligns to their chosen pathway;
  • Allow educators to successfully manage and monitor the data and reporting and be understandable to students, families, and educators; and
  • Be consistently implemented within all schools and throughout the state to ensure equitable expectations for all students.


The group wants to add a 13th year of school as an option for students not prepared to graduate.

"We are proposing after 12th grade that we find a way for these students to continue their learning potentially between the high school and a community college a career tech center," says Lisa Gray President of Ohio Excels.

The group has proposed testing changes as well the would reduce the number of state tests from 7 to 5 by eliminating the English 1 and Geometry tests, It's also calling on the state to restrict testing of students to only Algebra 1 and English II.

Ohio Excels is hoping lawmakers approve their proposal for the 2023 school year.

Other highlights of the proposed plan:

All students will select from one of the four options that make sense for their high school experience and for their plans after graduation:

  1. Ohio’s State TestsComplete the requirements for both of the following bullets:
    1. Earn 18 out of 35 points on seven end-of-course state tests; and
    2. Achieve a proficient level on at least one English-language arts and one math test.
  2. College and Career Readiness Tests – Complete the requirements for one of the following bullets:
    1. Earn remediation-free scores in math and English language arts on the ACT or SAT;
    2. Earn three or more College Credit Plus credits at any time during high school, in core academic subject areas;
    3. Earn credit for an Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) course and earn an AP exam score of three or higher or IB exam score of four or higher at any time during high school; or
    4. Earn a WorkKeys exam score of four on each of the three test sections.
  1. Career Experience and Technical CompetencyComplete the requirements for one foundational demonstration and one other demonstration (either supporting or another foundational demonstration):
    1. Foundational Demonstration: Earn a total score of Proficient or better on career technical exams (WebXam) in at least four courses in a single career pathway;
    2. Foundational Demonstration: Earn an industry-recognized credential or credentials that equal 12 points;
    3. Foundational Demonstration: Complete a pre-apprenticeship or earn acceptance into an apprenticeship program in the student’s career field; or
    4. Supporting Demonstration: Complete a workplace experience totaling 250 hours with evidence of positive evaluations;
    5. Supporting Demonstration: Earn an OhioMeansJobs Readiness Seal.
  2. Military Readiness Complete the requirements for both of the following bullets:
    1. Achieve a score on the ASVAB that would allow the student to enter any service branch; and
    2. Enter into a contract with the military to enlist upon graduation.
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