Beulah Boldman David Kierzek Theresa C Davis Edward F Storer Ralph Rader DP&L to stick with planned closings Preventing tax season identity theft 4-H awards 11 local scholarships Peebles Elementary holds Spirit Week Humane Society to hold Radio Auction Local business partners find historical treasure in old bank building DP&L employees meet with union leadership GE-Peebles Test Operation joins the campaign about Distracted Driving North Adams Elementary recognizes February Students of the Month Senior Profile: Sydney Michael Stars will shine for the 34th annual C-103 All-Star Game NAHS Track/XC host Shamrock Shuffle 5K Associated Press names All-Southeast District Teams Senior Profile: Hannah Howard Nice to finally be a small part of March Madness The tractor has always been special Jimmy Nelson Kathryn Boldman James E Downs Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe

New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’


Estimates claim up to 30% of high school juniors may not be on track to graduate in 2018 –

By Patricia Beech –

A large percentage of current high school juniors may not be on track to graduate on time. According the Ohio Department of Education, nearly 30 percent of 11th graders in the state have scored poorly on Ohio’s new graduation requirement tests.
In addition to having strong grades and earning the required course credits, students set to graduate in 2018 must also earn points on seven “end-of-course” state exams to be eligible to graduate.
The new tests are more demanding than the old Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT) they replaced.
For each of the seven end-of-course state tests, a student earns one to five graduation points. Students have the potential to earn a total of 35 points, but to meet this graduation option, they must earn a minimum number of 18 points from the seven tests.
Educators across the state have protested against the new requirement’s failure to accurately profile student ability and subject knowledge.
The negative impact of the newly-adopted testing has the State Board of Education considering changes that could ease the crunch on the class of 2018. They are discussing reducing the number of “points” students need to graduate, so that more clear the bar.
As of yet, the Board has not taken steps to change the test, according to Ohio Valley School District Superintendent Richard Seas.
“As it stands right now – they’ve decided nothing, they’ve changed nothing – if they stick to 18 points out of 35, a third of the kids across the state will not get a diploma,” said Seas.  “Our district is included in that estimate so we’re anxiously waiting to see what they’re going to do, or what we have to do to intervene with our students so they can get the necessary points on the end-of-course exams.”
The Ohio Department of Education argues that “end-of-course” graduation option gives a student flexibility in accumulating 18 points. For instance, a high score on one test can balance a low score on another test. A student must earn a total of at least four points on English tests, four points on math tests and six points on science and social studies tests.
In addition to the end-of-course tests, students may also choose between three options to earn their diplomas: Complete the required 18 course credits; Receive a composite score of 13 on WorkKeys and an approved industry-recognized credential for vocational students; or earn a remediation-free score on the ACT or SAT.
“A part of me supports these tests because I believe in high standards, that’s why they put this system in play,” said Seas. “You could argue about whether the standards are too high or the target unattainable – I’m torn because I don’t want to see them lower the points, but on the other hand I don’t know how we’re going to get the kids up to 18 points.”
However, former state school board member A.J. Wagner, who has emerged as a strong voice on behalf of high-poverty schools, has warned that graduation rates across Ohio could fall to 60%, creating a dropout/non-graduation epidemic if the test standards aren’t adjusted.
“We are headed for a train wreck,” he posted on Facebook. “These scores and the arbitrary standards being set for rigor put as many as two-thirds of our students in jeopardy for graduation.”
Wagner has called the Ohio’s education system “class warfare”, pointing out that test scores have closely paralleled income levels, with poorer students scoring worse. He said “it would be a miracle” if half of students in poor districts graduate under this system, and argued that not all students need to be college-ready.
“Most of these kids aren’t going to try that hard – they’re going to give up, then you’re left with kids who can’t get jobs or take care of themselves,” he said. “I’m not selling those kids short – I’m facing the practical realities that some kids, because of things beyond their control,  can’t compete effectively in the model we’re setting up.”

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