Board of Education seeking alternative paths for juniors to graduate

Board of Education seeking alternative paths for juniors to graduate

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Current Ohio high school juniors could soon get more flexibility next year to ensure they will receive their diploma.

As of now, about one-third of high school juniors are at risk of not graduating.

That's why the State Board of Education recommended alternative paths for students if they get less than the required 18 points on testing.

TPS leaders say the more rigorous graduation standards are necessary to prepare students for their futures, but rolling it out all at once is setting students up to fail.

Jim Gault, the head of curriculum for TPS, says Toledo students are used to change,

"There's been a tremendous amount of changes over the last five years," Gault said.

But for some juniors and seniors, the new standards have been a struggle. That's why he says educators across the state have made their voices heard in Columbus.

"I think the educators of the state have banded together. There were hundreds of them that went down to Columbus to show this was too much, too soon," Gault said. "But I'm excited they're talking. I'm excited now that we're starting to see some action. I hope they continue moving quickly, so that way we can have our message, and make sure our parents and students know what their actual expectations are."

The Ohio legislature will now have to look at alternative paths for the incoming 2018 class.

One option is a 93 percent attendance rate for a student's senior year, a career path or a senior capstone project. The other option is 150 hours of community service.

State Senator Peggy Lehner, who was part of the work group that proposed these changes, says she believes this has a good chance of getting through to Governor Kasich's desk before the next school year.

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