Ohio’s new grad requirements: right for kids

EnvisionEdPlus Guide to Ohio’s New Graduation Requirements, PART 1

Ohio’s new graduation requirements are causing so much concern among school leaders that legislators and the State Board of Education are now scrambling to avoid a feared backslide in graduation rates across the state.

While we at EnvisionEdPlus might be grateful for short-term political solutions in the best interests of students, we are encouraging our partner schools to continue their work in line with the new requirements. Put simply, it’s the right thing for kids.

With this, EnvisionEdPlus is kicking off a special blog series on Ohio’s new graduation requirements. The series will include lots of examples of how to approach this work, but we’ll start with the “why.” Here are 5 reasons high schools should embrace the new requirements now, even if politicians back off temporarily.

  1. The real gateway to college graduation is the college placement test. The Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) was not designed to predict or indicate college readiness. The new end-of-course exams (as well as the ACT and SAT) are very likely better indicators of readiness for college rigor. Whether they are the best possible measures can be debated, but we know that students who don’t pass college entrance exams (and therefore are placed in remedial programs) are 74% less likely to complete college than those who do, according to multiple studies. This Washington Post piece about a recent example sums it up nicely. Aligning high school courses to these assessments is well worth the effort if it results in more successful college students.
  2. Industry credentials are more valuable to young job-seekers than high ACT scores or high school diplomas. The option to accumulate career credentials instead of end-of-course or college placement test scores makes sense for students who want to access the workforce sooner rather than later, whether to start their careers or support themselves through college. Among employees without a bachelor’s degree, industry credentials result in higher pay, according to this 2012 U.S. Census Report. These are challenging assessments, to be sure, but they are designed and managed by industry sectors. The resulting credentials are as reliable indicators of employability as we have.
  3. Students’ aspirations matter. By creating multiple pathways to graduation, Ohio is pivoting from myopic approaches like “college for all.” Students, with the help of their families and schools, can choose pathways that lead toward the careers they want without wasting time and resources (ie. college loans) on training or degrees that do not advance their personal goals.
  4. Offering career credentials is in schools’ best interests. Whether or not the Ohio legislature holds them to the new graduation standards right away, high schools (and districts) will be measured on the Prepared for Success component of the state report card. For the 7% of high schools that earned an A or B in that category last year, that’s no big deal. For the rest of us, we need to boost credential earning opportunities anyway. Why not align those opportunities toward graduation and career goals as well?
  5. K-12 is the talent pipeline. Did you know that for every job requiring an advanced college degree, there are 2 jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree … and 7 jobs requiring something more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree, like an industry credential? Despite all of the changes from the industrial age to the information age to now, that 1:2:7 ratio has not budged. Seriously, watch this video. Nevertheless, high schools have been stubbornly and misguidedly focused on the 1 and the 2, leaving the 7 to career centers alone. When we consider that the vast majority of high school students – our future workforce – remains in traditional high schools, it just makes sense to rethink our pathways to graduation.

In the coming weeks, we’ll post detailed explanations of what’s required and what it means for schools. In the meantime, the uninitiated can check out ODE’s resources for the basics. We are especially excited to have some of our partners writing guest blogs about the great work they are doing so that all youth thrive… in school and beyond.

Our Courses

Image Course Description Price Created On Last Updated On categories_ID
Supporting Families (Level 1) Consider the differences between engaging and supporting eight types of parents or family members you might encounter. Reflect on your past experiences with each of those types. Create and implement an action plan to improve your support for families who need it. 0.00 2020/07/17 2022/03/24 6
STEAMing Up Literacy (Level 1) The content in this course is designed to begin your understanding of STEAM integration (design thinking) and apply this knowledge to your own classroom. You will have the opportunity to implement a mini lesson and receive feedback about your lesson. Two “office hours” will be available to chat with the instructor and others enrolled in this course. 0.00 2021/01/09 2022/03/24 5
Trauma Brain (Level 1) The brain is constantly changing and molding in response to the environment. These changes impact student learning. This is especially true in terms of trauma. This training is designed to help participants learn what goes on in the brain and how they can set up a learning environment for each of the students in their class. 0.00 2021/01/30 2022/03/24 4
STEAMing Up Literacy (Level 2) The content in this course is designed to begin your understanding of Problem Based Learning(PBL) and apply this knowledge to your own classroom. You will have the opportunity to implement a mini lesson and receive feedback about your lesson. 0.00 2021/02/23 2022/03/24 5
High Quality Literacy Instruction (Level 1 & 2) Core content includes an overview of Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement, evidence-based literacy practices, and resources and tools for literacy instruction. Participants will create, implement and improve two classroom-based literacy strategies (in-person, blended or remote). 0.00 2021/02/23 2022/03/24 5
Supporting Families (Level 2) In Engaging Families Through Support - Level 1, you learned about eight types of parents/caregivers and reflected on your past experiences with each type, culminating in a plan to better engage specific types as partners in their children's education. During this 8-hour asynchronous course you will delve deeper in your understanding of the eight types of parents/caregivers by speaking with individual family members you work with, discovering what they need from you and your program, and implementing an action plan informed by the actual families you serve. Doing so will give you sustainable skills and strategies to build stronger family engagement year after year. 0.00 2021/03/07 2022/03/30 6
Differentiated & Engaged Instruction (Level 1) Differentiation is effective instruction that is responsive to the learner’s preferences, interests and their readiness. It could be explained as a framework for thinking about your teaching and your student’s learning. This course discusses differentiation as an effective teaching tool. Included are many resources and strategies to help meet the learning needs of each student. Participants will learn through various articles, videos, examples, strategies and resources to adapt lessons to meet the needs of each student in their classrooms. 0.00 2021/03/18 2022/03/24 5
Trauma Brain (Level 2) This course gives an advanced understanding of the brain. including differences between “active” and “relational” based brains, trauma-related behaviors, and strategies to reach and teach trauma-impacted students so that they can re-engage in learning. Participants will learn about the range of thinking that a brain does, explore how students fit into the range of thinking, and discover healthy ways of engaging the full range of thinking. 0.00 2021/05/31 2022/03/24 4
Differentiated & Engaged Instruction (Level 2) This 8-hour, self-paced course is facilitated by Laurie Trotter, an EnvisionEdPlus Instructional Specialist. The course explores advanced differentiation as an effective instructional method that is responsive to the learner’s preferences and interests. Create, implement, and improve a lesson plan to engage all learners. Participants will learn through various articles, videos, examples, strategies, and resources to be able to be proficient in starting to adapt lessons to meet all needs of students in their classroom. Prerequisite: Differentiated and Engaged Instruction (Bronze Badge). 0.00 2021/05/31 2022/03/24 5
Creativity Belongs in the Classroom (Level 1) Encourage lifelong learning, improve focus, reduce anxiety and enhance thinking in your classroom or program. Creativity is a learned and trained process for getting the most out of higher level thinking and problem solving of your students. Learn how to embed creativity easily into your lessons, using strategies that will help unlock your students ability to be innovative thinkers and problem solvers. This course is appropriate for anyone who works with youth and also satisfies the HQPD Gifted competencies of A, B, and D. 0.00 2022/01/14 2022/04/10 5

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