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Update: state school board seeks to avoid graduation disaster

Early projections have shown that up to ONE THIRD of next year’s seniors in Ohio may not be able to graduate with upcoming new requirements.  Some low-income schools may be particularly affected, with as much as 70% of seniors not passing the mark.

Current rules require students to earn 20 credits and a cumulative passing score of 18 points using seven state tests, or an acceptable score on a college admission exam such as the ACT, or earn an industry credential.

In response to these deeply troubling numbers, the state school board is seeking to change the rules in order to allow more students to graduate.  The proposed rules would still require students to take the state tests, but would allow them to graduate without passing them – so long as they met newly proposed requirements such as a 93% attendance rate, a senior GPA of at least 2.5, or 120 hours of work experience or community service.

Even after the state school board meeting, Ohio lawmakers need to approve these new rules – and some fear they may not want to budge on the new graduation requirements.

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The upcoming class of 2018 will be the first to graduate under new Ohio rules, however, many educators are worried these rules are too stiff.

A concerning from the Ohio Department of Education shows that many schools are not up to snuff, with some individual school’s graduation rates projected to fall by as much as 70 percent. That means around a third of all high school students in Ohio may be in danger of not graduating under the new requirements, with poor and minority students being among the most affected.

The Ohio State Board of Education is set to meet on the issue of graduation as many educators have expressed worry at the potentially low graduation rates. But their power is limited and it may be up the state legislature to change graduation requirements – and some lawmakers have expressed that they do not want to lower the standard.

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