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Ohio Changing Minimum Scores Required On Standardized Tests

Ohio State State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria at a Get2School Advisory Board meeting.
Ohio Department of Education
Ohio State State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria at a Get2School Advisory Board meeting.

Spring is coming, and so is state testing season in Ohio’s schools.

The state school superintendent and the Ohio Department of Education this week will set minimum scores for students to show "competency" in Algebra I and English II. But students won’t be required to be considered “proficient.”

State tests have always had five areas where a student's score will fall: limited, basic, proficient, accelerated and advanced. New graduation requirements passed last yearrequire “competency” on those tests.

Superintendent Paolo DeMaria said that competency score will be somewhere between basic and proficient on the current state testing scale.

DeMaria said this isn’t a lowering of the bar, because it’s never been required for students to score proficient on those tests to graduate. Rather, he says this sets a baseline standard for those who plan to go right to work after high school.

“What we're basically trying to do is, looking at the minimal requirement, what do we think it's going to take for a student to be able to go into the real world and do some things that will allow them to succeed?” DeMaria said. "And we've gauged that against sort of entry level jobs in positions that really say all we are looking for is a student with a high school diploma. If we use that as the standard, that's what we're trying to say with this.”

The new graduation standards also allow options besides competency on tests to earn diplomas starting in 2023. DeMaria said the state will still emphasize going beyond competency to students.