Urge Legislators to Extend Alternative Graduation Pathways

Image: Students With Diplomas

With only a few weeks left in this legislative session, action is needed now to extend the alternative graduation pathways for the classes of 2019 and 2020. According to the Ohio Department of Education, more than 33,000 of this year’s seniors are at risk of not graduating. Extending the alternative pathways would give these students additional flexibility to demonstrate their knowledge and readiness for graduation without relying on high-stakes testing. OEA strongly supports extension of the alternative graduation pathways.

Please write to your state legislators and urge them to support legislation to extend the alternative graduation pathways for 2019 and 2020. To take action, please adapt the sample letter provided. When you submit your message, it will be sent to your state representative and state senator.

Background:
Under current law, in addition to successfully completing required coursework, students are required to meet one of the following three graduation “pathways”: 1) accumulate at least 18 points on seven end-of-course exams; 2) achieve a “remediation free” score on the ACT or SAT; or 3) earn an industry-recognized credential and pass the WorkKeys workforce readiness exam. Each of these pathways is dependent on the results of high-stakes testing.

Based on a similar number of seniors in the class of 2018 who were not expected to graduate, the legislature adopted alternative pathways for that class only. OEA supports an amendment that would extend the alternative pathways for two more years. It is anticipated that such an amendment will be offered to House Bill 477 in the Senate Education Committee.

The alternative graduation pathways would provide students with additional options such as completion of a capstone project, work experience, and grade point average. For more information on the alternative pathways, click here.

Extending the alternative pathways for two years adds additional flexibility and does not preclude a student from graduating based on the current requirements. It is anticipated that legislation will be debated in the next session to make long-term changes to high school graduation requirements.

To take action, please adapt the sample letter provided. When you submit your message, it will be sent to your state representative and state senator.