Senate Education Committee OKs Graduation Flexibility Extension
The Senate Education Committee approved legislation
Wednesday to give class of 2019 students the same flexibility in meeting
graduation requirements given to the class of 2018, while class of 2020
students would see somewhat different requirements.
Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), chair of the committee,
said she expects the full Senate to take up the measure Thursday.
The committee inserted graduation language as one of
several amendments to HB491 (Edwards), legislation originally written to deal
with substitute pupil services licensure.
The amendment also seeks to continue development of a
longer-term overhaul of Ohio's graduation requirements, requiring the Ohio
Department of Education (ODE) to consult with business leaders and develop more
detailed guidance to support the new framework endorsed by the State Board of
Education last month. A report from ODE on the subject is due to the House and
Senate education committees by Monday, April 1, 2019.
Like the class of 2018, class of 2019 students could earn
a diploma by meeting two of nine specified criteria:
- A 12th grade attendance rate of at least 93 percent.
- A GPA of at least 2.5 in 12th grade, based on taking at least four full-year
- Completion of a capstone project.
- Completion of 120 hours of work experience or community service.
- Earning at least three credit hours through College Credit Plus.
- Passing an AP or IB exam with a score sufficient to earn college credit.
- Reaching minimum cut scores on sections of the WorkKeys assessment.
- Obtaining an industry credential or credential worth at least three points.
- Meeting the conditions to earn an OhioMeansJobs-readiness seal.
Under the amendment, the rules would change for 2020.
According Lehner, attendance would no longer be among the criteria. In
addition, the Ohio Department of Education would be required to establish
guidelines defining the requirements for use of the work and community service
and capstone project criteria, and the GPA requirement of 2.5 would be
calculated cumulatively based on both 11th and 12th grade performance, rather
than just 12th grade.
For the long-term overhaul, Lehner said lawmakers want to
see more specifics about how ODE would implement the framework supported by the
"Left out in that [framework] are specific
guidelines. They're sort of broad guidelines about demonstrating academic
performance, we want some recommendations superficially about what they're
going to be looking for. And we'd like them to run that by the business community
that has told us what they want more than anything is students who show up,
that students know how to work with their peers, etc. etc.," she said.
The State Board of Education voted in November to support
the new proposal developed by a workgroup convened by Superintendent Paolo
DeMaria. (See The Hannah Report,
11/15/18.) The proposal, designed to supplement the existing three options for
earning a high school diploma, would require students to demonstrate their
abilities in five areas: English, math, technology, well-rounded content and
leadership/reasoning/social-emotional learning. That show of learning could
come via scores on state tests or other assessments; GPA; or other
demonstrations such as earning an industry credential or completing a "culminating
student experience" that could include presentations, research,
portfolios, work-based learning, community service and other methods. The board
recommended that the new system take effect with this year's high school
freshmen, the class of 2022.
HB491 picked up several other changes Wednesday.
According to Lehner, amendments accomplish the following:
- Incorporate the language of HB705 (Hambley), regarding
liability for school treasurers.
- Specify that suspended students must be given credit for
work assigned to them while they're out of school, but not necessarily full
- Enable creation of new counseling education programs
now that Ohio's requirement for such programs to be accredited has taken
effect; Lehner described this as a technical change.
- Address unintended consequences of legislation enacted
earlier this year regarding training for school resource officers,
incorporating language suggested by the attorney general's office so the law
conforms to current practice at the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy.
Story originally published in The Hannah Report on December 5, 2018. Copyright 2018 Hannah News Service, Inc.