Editorial on tests

TOLEDO -- Preliminary results for the Ohio Graduation Test are in, and some high school seniors are finding out they won't graduate.

As News 11 Shelley Brown reports, there has been a change this year in the State's graduation requirements. The graduating class of 2007 is the first class required to pass all five of the Ohio Graduation Tests -- also called OGT -- in order to graduate.

The tests cover math, reading, science, social studies and writing. And now that the results are in, some seniors are finding out they won't get to walk across the stage graduation day.

Nia Pettaway and Steven Loggins are seniors at Scott High School. They're ready for graduation. They already have their caps and gowns. Nia plans to go to college and study nursing, and Steven, accounting.

But, they just learned they won't be graduating.

"I got straight A's, a 4.0, 25 credits and I cannot walk because of a test by seven points," said Pettaway. She is referring to the test she's taken several times.

Students have five opportunities from their sophomore to senior year to pass it.

"The stuff that's on the test is stuff we don't even go over," said Loggins, also a senior at Schoo. He says he failed the test by "one point."

Students aren't the only ones complaining. Parents, too, are chiming in.

"You have students talking about not passing the test by one point but have a 3.5, 4.0. That means that the curriculuum is not matching the test," said Lukesha Anderson-Justice, a parent.

Parents and students gathered with t-shirts and signs that read, "Let us walk."

"Students need to know that these are college preparatory tests basically and they need to take a college preparatory track," said TPS Superintendent John Foley, who says he understands the stress on families.

Foley says the district has provided tutoring and special classes to prepare students.

"But if students are within 10 points of passing the test, there are several criteria they can accomplish and they could get a waiver," Foley said. That includes a high attendance rate and good discipline.

For now, Pettaway and Loggins plan to take the test again this summer and get ready for college, but say they're still missing out on a piece of high school.

Posted by KO