High School Graduation

More than 140,000 Ohio students are preparing to enter their senior year of high school, but for thousands of them, the year won’t end with a walk across a stage in a cap and gown. That is unless lawmakers move the graduation goal post once again.

It’s a lingering question that’s creating uncertainty for rising seniors in the state’s high schools.

Ja’Mya and Kenmore-Garfield’s Class of 2019

Sixteen-year-old Ja’Mya Goley is about a month away from starting her senior year at Kenmore-Garfield High School in Akron.

Dayton Public Schools
Liam Niemeyer / WYSO

A recent report from the Ohio Department of Education has revealed that around a quarter of Ohio’s high school seniors are not on track to meet the state’s new testing requirements for graduation. In urban school districts, the number is even higher. Many districts are turning to alternative pathways to graduation.

Last year, after the Ohio Department of Education raised testing requirements for the class of 2018, school officials across the state said they were expecting to see massive drops in graduation rates as a result.

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Ohio Department of Transportation Facebook page

Next year’s graduating high school senior must get a good score over seven different final tests or on a college entrance exam, or earn an industry credential. As many as 47,000 high school juniors are potentially on track to fail to meet those standards. An amendment that may be attached to the budget in the Senate seeks to help those students.