Many students at risk of not graduating high school

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A large number of Ohio high school students are at risk of not graduating next year, because of new requirements.  School superintendents from across the state were in Columbus this week to discuss the issue.

Nearly 30-percent of high school juniors in the state are not on track to graduate next year and those numbers are even higher for some Montgomery County schools.

“Our goal is to graduate our students on time, with their peers,” Mad Rivers Local School Superintendent Chad Wyen said.

Wyen was among the four thousands educators in Columbus expressing concern about the new state graduation requirements.

“Right now in Mad River Local Schools we have 38 percent of our juniors currently that will not graduate on time with the rest of their peers, so we’re looking at going from an 82-85 percent graduation rate annually to a 62 percent graduation rate and it’s not just mad river.  It’s all the districts in not only Montgomery County, it’s in the state of Ohio,” Wyen said.

Wyen said superintendents across the state were pushing for more flexibility with the new system by way of lowering the number of points required for graduation from 18-point to a more obtainable number like 15 or 16 on end-of-year-course exams.  The new state exams are reportedly more demanding than the old Ohio graduation test.  He said this adjustment would allow more students to graduate on time.

“Not only does it affect us, it affects the state overall too and it’s really going to look bad for the state of Ohio if changes aren’t made,” Wyen said.

In Montgomery County alone seven school districts estimate one-third or more of their current juniors are at risk of not graduating next year.   Dayton Public School is at the top with 65-percent, followed by Jefferson Township 56-percent, Huber Heights 52-percent, Northridge 51-percent and Trotwood Madison 47-percent.

“And that’s not fair to our students.  You know they’re kind of victims of random acts of legislation and policy and that often happens in the state and it’s concerning because a lot of times we don’t have input as local  districts to control that and you know then our students suffer and really it’s not fair to our students,” Wyen said.

The new requirements go into effect for the 2017-2018 school year, so it will not impact this year’s graduating class.

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