Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy Tom A Mihalovich Brand hat trick leads North Adams past West Union 5-2 in SHAC soccer action Senior Profile: Bryant Lung Lady Hounds pull off thrilling Senior Night win Volleyball milestones continue to pile up at North Adams Banner season for Lady Indians soccer SHAC holds Junior High Volleyball Tournament Tournament match ups set for volleyball and soccer Senior Profile: Morgan Edmisten Hounds dominate, improve to 3-4 Is this not the best time of the year? Volley For The Cure is another big success Getting everything we ask for Oh, that dreaded leaf project Manchester: Adams County’s oldest community looks to the future with hope Congressman visits Manchester’s newest business Six candidates vie for MLSD School Board Highway 41 road work stalls MFD holds annual Safety Day for kids, families Lenora Mckee Virgie Cole Helen J Damron Karen S Lockhart Donna M Pelfrey Russell D Pollitt, Sr Karen S Lockhart Harris named Director of Shelter for the Homeless Local candidates abundant on November ballot Senior Profile: McKinlee Grooms Lady Dragons finish third in district golf tourney Lady Devils challenged, but survive to extend SHAC streak to 60 Rally falls short, Lady Hounds fall in five sets to Fairfield Senior Profile: Jessica Newman Lady Indians get shutout win over West Union, 2-0 Erwins host annual Herb Fair Bentonville: A community at the crossroads of Adams County history Tranquility, Wilson Homestead host annual Heritage Days Why we get back up Your local newspaper, the real deal Welcome to the morning klatch Oleda F Saunders Frank A Golden Shirley A Tully Hubert Knauff John T Shupert Celebrate the sports pages Gould, Woolard, defense lead Hounds to second win George E Lucas Betty A Johnson Hayes sentenced Sue Day Devils headed back to state golf tourney Earl R Fields Alberta L Steward Gregory Terry Linda Taylor Levies slated for November ballot Manchester residents forming neighborhood watch group West Union teachers receive prestigious award Crum arraigned in Brown County Common Pleas Court Seaman: A small town with a big heart and a family spirit Seaman Fall Festival again draws large crowds NAES participates in weekend food program AES Ohio Generation assumes control of DP&L assets West Union, Peebles take home county XC crowns Lady Devils win a soccer buzzer-beater Senior Profile: Brooklyn Wylie Lady Dragons move to districts Green Devils win sectional golf title West Union hosting fourth annual Alumni Volleyball Game Gray breaks Lady Indians’ single season goals record Senior Profile: Chase Cummings Lady Dragons cruise to SHAC title Hupp ties school record with five goals in Lady Devils’ win over Southeastern For 14th time in 15 years, Dragons claim SHAC Boys Golf Championship Getting life in order See those signals of the season Jury returns verdict in former Manchester police officer’s trial Larry Peters Gary L Hughes Sr Deanna L Parker Stephen R Fetters Bonnie Hawkins Clifton J DeMint Steven L Kimberlin When you just know The tradition of the Sunday dinner The emotions of leaving for college A hard habit to break Did it happen or did it not? Southern Ohio Trails Web Portal released Board of Elections announces polling place changes

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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