NOTES: The Thomas B. Fordham Institute occasionally publishes guest commentaries on its blogs. The views expressed by guest authors do not necessarily reflect those of Fordham.
This piece was originally published in the Dayton Daily News.
When you ask most people, “What should a high school diploma represent?” They’ll tell you, “It means a student has a 12th grade education.” If only that was the truth. Unfortunately, in Ohio, it’s not.
This year’s diploma recipients will have completed 15 required high school courses and at least five elective courses. The required courses include four years of English, four years of math, three years of science, and three years of social studies. In addition, students will have scored proficient on the five sections (reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies) of the Ohio Graduation Test. The dirty little secret, though, is that the Ohio Graduation Test is a test of 8th grade knowledge. Do most students graduate with more than an 8th grade education? Of course. But an 8th grade education is the minimum.
Back in 2010, Ohio made a decision. An eighth grade education isn’t enough. An eighth grade education is not enough for our students to succeed...