Grand Marshals selected for West Union Fourth of July Parade Adams County, Maysville Vet team up to save injured dog Michael S Knauff Victor P Price Success builds from the bottom up Finalists named for 2017 Fair Queen Contest William Glenn DeWine, Reader Call For Tips in Rhoden Murder Investigation MHS principal to take superintendent post Peebles Skate Park now a reality 2017-18 Fur and Feather Ambassadors named Caley Grooms is Cattlemen’s Beef Ambassador Dr. Mueller leaving Health Department’s free clinic Hourglass Quilt Barn returning to Adams County Lung, Thornburg are First Team All-District selections North Adams hosts annual Boys Basketball Camps Walk-off winner Wanda Hill George D Johnson Life can be a juggling act My favorite thing to do on the farm Wolves in Adams County! Ronald L Wedmore Three lessons from Dad Donald D Morgan Wenstrup uninjured in Virginia shooting Portman staff to hold grant funding workshop Raymond E Applegate Keeping the Peebles tradition alive Back on the hardwood, local hoops squads compete in Monday Night League Seven county athletes recognized as All-SHAC Baseball honorees Stepping to the podium Lady Hounds host Youth Volleyball Camp Senior Profile: Bryan Young Junior Deputy Boot Camps kick off in Manchester Hayes pleads “not guilty” to 109 counts Six-year-old girl finds long-lost class ring Jefferson Alumni awards annual scholarships Paul Tate Jr Marcus I Cox Jewell Gill James M Hill Jr Jeffrey S Jones Samuel A Disher Jack Sterling BREAKING NEWS: Parents face charges after son overdoses on opiate License Hikes and Tall Turkey Tales Danger under every rock Reigning Miss Ohio USA will judge 2017 Adams County Fair Queen Pageant Gordley’s hoops career will continue at Mount St. Joseph Russell C Newman Kenneth C Thurman George Uebel Summer Reading Program underway Honor Flight carries local veteran to DC When rescuers become victims Passing the torch, West Union hosts week-long basketball camp for future Dragons SENIOR PROFILE: Sara Knechtly Terry L Powell Willie Shreffler James C Fitzpatrick Senior Profile: Austin Parks Six countians named to All-SHAC Softball squad Lady Indians get summer camp season underway Memorial Day services pay tribute to local veterans WUHS Steel Band will perform at Bogart’s SSCC announces Honors Lists for spring semester Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for final nine weeks West Union Elementary announces Honor Roll for fourth nine weeks Back to State! Mom calls daughter “living proof” seat belts save lives Rent-2-Own donation means new soccer scoreboard at WUHS NAHS student selected for Engineering Summer Camp Southern Hills Athletic Conferences honors Spring Sports athletes Senior Profile: Kailyn Boyd Madison Welch receives Riffle Scholarship Junior Achievement Volunteers visit county’s seventh graders Marcella J Abbott James Ratliff Gladys Davitz Harry G Shupert Memories on Memorial Day A soldier’s story, a family’s grief Thank You for your sacrifice Seaman community honors local veterans with special tribute Former PES teacher dies in tragic accident All County Senior Citizens Day celebrated Parks signs with SSCC Soccer Senior Profile: Lexie Bunn Jessie Rodgers Memorial Day services set for county Truly our greatest generation Bertha Lashley Maia Swartz Jessie Rodgers Errors spell the end of Devils’ baseball season Senior Profile: Carry Hayslip Lady Hounds’ season ends with tourney loss to Paint Valley North Adams hosts Youth Volleyball Camp Time to get “Stroke Savvy”

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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