October 21, 2013
People frequently ask me about changes to Ohio’s graduation requirements. It has been difficult to give a clear answer because so much has been in flux, complicating this issue. Here is what we know right now:
As the rules stand today, schools must begin giving students in grades 3-8 and in high school the Next Generation Assessments during the next school year (2014-2015). In addition to the Next Generation Assessments, next year’s 10th-graders (the Class of 2017) must also take the Ohio Graduation Tests. Students will need the graduation tests to meet legislative graduation requirements. Necessary changes in legislation and related timing issues have prevented the Ohio Department of Education from establishing how the Next Generation Assessments will affect future graduation requirements.
A Graduation Requirements Committee of the State Board of Education is working to develop the new graduation rules. However, legislation is needed to make the rules effective for the Class of 2018. Until we know if or how legislation will change, the department will not be able to tell schools which assessments will be used for graduation requirements for the Class of 2018 and beyond. Reaching a decision on this and providing guidance to schools are high priorities of the department. We will be working closely with the Ohio General Assembly to get closure on this issue.
In the meantime, here is what I can tell you: This year’s Ohio Graduation Tests will align to both the current standards and Ohio’s New Learning Standards. Next year, both the Ohio Graduation Tests and Next Generation Assessments will align to Ohio’s New Learning Standards.
Please stay tuned in to changes as we move forward. Without changes to current law, we will be left with a cumbersome and inefficient assessment system for graduation. We are working with all parties to resolve this situation and will share updates as they become available.
Thank you for all you do for the boys and girls of Ohio.
Dr. Richard A. Ross
State Superintendent of Public Instruction