Friday, June 08, 2001

98% seeking graduation pass test

Figure is for Ohio seniors who took 9th-grade exam

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        About 98 percent of Ohio seniors who have taken the state's ninth-grade proficiency tests — required for graduation — passed all portions of the test, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

        That number mirrors the passing rate in most Greater Cincinnati districts.

        This is the first year seniors were required to pass all five portions of the test — reading, writing, math, science and citizenship. (Science was added this year as a graduation requirement.) Special-education students can be exempt from having to pass one or more portions.

        “(The results are) good news,” said Ohio Department of Education spokeswoman Patti Grey. “Even with the addition of the science test, we're still holding at 98 percent passage.”

        Students who have dropped out or did not take the tests are not included in these percentages.

        The ninth- and 12th-grade tests were required in 1987 by the General Assembly.

        Students can keep trying to pass test sections they have failed.

        The Department of Education reported 118,563 students met the higher graduation standard. They make up the same percentage achieved by previous five classes when only four tests were required for graduation. That leaves 2,678 members of the Class of 2001 who have still need to pass one or more portions to receive a diploma.

        In Warren County's Kings Local Schools, all students who sat for the test have passed. Seniors-to-be can begin taking the tests in the spring of eighth grade.

        “We have an exceptional senior class,” said Kings spokeswoman Linda Oda. “You can't count on that every year.”

        The success wasn't without a struggle. Six students were tutored for 16 days before the May tests, she said.

        Other area districts that had 100 percent pass rates:

        • Butler County: Madison and Ross.

        • Clermont County: Bethel-Tate and Williamsburg.

        • Hamilton County: Loveland, St. Bernard-Elmwood Place, Wyoming and Indian Hill.

        • Warren County: Franklin, Lebanon, Mason, Carlisle, Kings and Wayne.


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