Panel reviewing Ohio graduation requirements begins its work


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A panel considering whether to recommend adjustments to Ohio’s high school graduation requirements has begun its work.

The work group led by Ohio’s superintendent is tasked with making recommendations to the State Board of Education by April.

Educators from around Ohio have warned that a large number of high schoolers are in jeopardy of not graduating next school year because of new graduation requirements tied to more demanding tests. An analysis by the Department of Education showed that two-thirds of juniors already met, or are on track to meet, the new requirements, but school officials remain concerned.

Backers of the new requirements have said they are meant to ensure that students are better prepared to get jobs or enter college without needing remedial courses.

Gov. John Kasich has said he won’t back away from the requirements and that “a diploma has to mean something.”

Rather than temporarily easing the requirements, the state board created the work group to consider the issue. The panel heard comments Wednesday about what skills students need to succeed in today’s workforce, The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2k6Qhul ) reported.

Neil Ridley, director of the State Initiative at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and Workforce, told panel members that by 2020, about two-thirds of jobs will require post-high school education.

“Since the 1970s, there has been a shift away from routine and manual tasks toward analytic and interpersonal tasks,” he said.

Another speaker, Columbus schools guidance counselor Jimmie Beall, urged the panel to consider how to help “kids who are maybe getting lost.”