Malcolm X once said, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”
Wise words. Education has long been the source of opportunity, a passport if you will, for Americans to pursue a better life. But education isn’t a passive activity; it’s earned through hard work, preparation, attainment.
Starting in 2009, Ohio began to move away from a relatively low benchmark of competency—the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT)—and toward the more rigorous expectations of high school end-of-course exams as a precondition for obtaining a diploma. The impetus was that too few students in Ohio were leaving high school with the skills necessary either to enroll in postsecondary education without costly remediation or to enter the workforce. The new system, deemed the “College and Work Ready Assessment System,” was designed to require more work on the part of students to be successful and to act as an effective replacement of the OGTs and their low expectations.
Just as the requirements were finally set to be enforced, however, concerns that too few students would meet the higher bar resulted in development of a new and...