Monday, April 25, 2016

What does it take to graduate from Greenville High School now and beyond?

by Jeff Cassell, Principal at Greenville Senior High School

For many years, students have had to complete 22 credits, including specific credit requirements, plus they must pass an achievement test in order to graduate. The Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) is alive for only a few more years -the tests that Ohio freshmen have needed to take and pass to earn a high school diploma is almost gone. The freshmen and sophomores will have to accumulate points on seven end-of-course exams to graduate in 2018 and beyond. The OGT, which was a collection of five exams in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies, will continue to be offered for all current juniors and seniors; all must still pass the tests to graduate. In this article, I will concentrate on the graduation requirements for the class of 2018 and beyond.

The new end-of-course exams, America Institute for Research (AIR), will be offered in algebra, geometry, biology, American history, American Government (civics), English I, and English II this year and it was offered in physical science last year for the class of 2018. The class of 2018 can take either the biology or the physical science score. Students will need to have combined scores in all areas and certain scores in subject areas as well. The new test is given in two parts and a single score will combine the two parts. Students will earn 1 to 5 points for each of the seven tests: a score of a 5 is for advanced performance, a score of 4 is for accelerated performance, a score of 3 is for proficient, a score of a 2 for basic performance and a score of a 1 for limited performance.

Students are not required to score a minimum level on any one test. However, to ensure the student is well rounded, they must earn a minimum of four points in math, four points in English and six points across science and social studies. The student must score a minimum of 18 points on all the tests to graduate. Students do have some other options to graduate.

The first option is that students studying Advanced Placement (AP) courses in biology, American history, or American government may take and substitute test scores for end-of-course exams. Students may substitute grades from College Credit Plus course in science and social studies subjects for end-of-course exams.

Another option for students is the industry credential and workforce readiness assessment. In this area, the industry credential and workforce readiness option means that students must earn 12 points through a State Board of Education-approved, industry-recognized credential or group of credentials in a single career field and achieve a workforce readiness score on the WorkKeys assessment. WorkKeys assessments have been used for more than two decades to measure essential workplace skills and help people build career pathways. These skills help employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain a quality workforce. The assessments measure foundational and soft skills with each WorkKeys assessment offering varying levels of difficulty. Presently, the State of Ohio will pay one time for those who take the WorkKeys assessment.

The WorkKeys assessment has three sections: reading, applied mathematics and locating information. Students in the graduating class of 2018 and 2019 must earn a total of 13 points across the three WorkKeys sections; students in the Class of 2020 and beyond must earn a total of 14 points. Students must also earn at least three points on each section of the test. The industry-recognized credentials are in the following explore career fields: agriculture, arts and communications, business and finance, construction, education and training, engineering, health, hospitality and tourism, human services, information technology, law and public safety, manufacturing, and transportation.

The last option for students is the college admission test. If students can earn “remediation-free” scores in English Language Arts and mathematics on a nationally recognized college admission exam (ACT or SAT), then they can use these scores as substitutes for their English and math scores. Presently, the State of Ohio will pay one time for all 11th grade students in the classes of 2018 and beyond to take the exam free of charge.

As you can see, graduating from high school has changed drastically over the years.

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