Ohio House Passes Legislation to Aid Transition to New Graduation Requirements
State Representative Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation that will provide more options and local control to schools in relation to academic achievement and graduation requirements.
House Bill 193 will allow for a smoother transition as Ohio moves toward end-of-course assessments from the existing Ohio Graduation Test (OGT). It does so by providing a range of testing options and other pathways—including the first career-technical option—in order for a student to earn a high school diploma.
As Ohio moves to fully implement new content standards and assessments, HB 193 is aimed at addressing concerns related to the transition. The bill creates a more reasonable time line for changes by establishing “safe harbor” provisions for schools and districts during the 2014-2015 school year, meaning state sanctions will not be applied for poor report card measures or ratings that year.
“While putting smart methods of assessing whether a student is ready for graduation is essential, it’s also important that we implement these methods in the correct manner,” said Rep. Brenner, who sponsored the bill. “House Bill 193 was developed with input from schools, homeschoolers and districts over a series of 17 meetings, and I’m confident that it will provide them with needed flexibility as we move Ohio’s education system forward.”
Highlights of House Bill 193 include setting the replacement of the Ohio Graduation Test with the college and work-ready assessment system starting with students entering ninth grade on or after July 1, 2015, as well as requiring the Ohio Board of Education to compile a list of equivalent assessments that schools can use instead of the prescribed end-of-course examinations. The bill also lays the groundwork for the administration of online assessments in the future.
Additionally, the Ohio Department of Education is to create a model textbook/instructional material adoption process that includes opportunities for public input, which schools and school districts are to adopt for the selection of these materials with input from parents, teachers and other residents.
House Bill 193 passed the House with bipartisan support and will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.