Thursday, February 01, 2001

Walnut Hills kids ace state test

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati's Walnut Hills High is tops in the state when it comes to performance on the ninth-grade proficiency test.

        Of the 1,241 students in grades 9-12, 99 percent passed all five parts of the state test.

        All students in grades 10-12 passed all five sec tions. Only 10 ninth-graders need to retake one part of the exam, said Eileen Halpern, school testing coordinator.

        “This is what the state would like for all schools to achieve,” Mrs. Halpern said. “I'm so proud of the students.”

        Walnut Hills is rated as the top high school in the state on the Web site, which ranks all 703 high schools based on proficiency test scores.

        Patti Grey, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Education, said Walnut Hills' results are impressive.

        The state average for passage of the ninth-grade test is 99 percent of all high school seniors, Ms. Grey said. But the state graduation rate is 80 percent, meaning students are leaving school.

        “That's the group we need to worry about,” Ms. Grey said. “But if a school has 99 percent of its students passing the test by 12th grade and they have a 99 percent graduation rate, then they are doing really well.”

        Statisticians at Cincinnati Public Schools report a 99 percent graduation rate for Walnut Hills High in 2000.

        And because all Walnut Hills seniors passed the ninth-grade test, all 285 will take the 12th-grade exam next week. Passing the 12th-grade test is not a requirement for graduation.

        Students who pass all five parts qualify for a $500 state voucher that can be used at any Ohio college. Last year, 241 Walnut Hills seniors earned the vouchers.


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- Walnut Hills kids ace state test
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