OGT going nowhere soon
Contrary to what many believe, the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) is not disappearing any time soon.
Many Ohio educators, politicians, and even parents and students believed the OGT would go away after sophomores took it this March. All future sophomores would have to pass another — probably more difficult — standardized test, such as the PSAT, in order to graduate high school.
Not true. At least for the next three years.
According to the latest news out of Columbus, the OGT will remain Ohio’s go-to graduation test through the year 2016, and probably even through 2017.
“The new tests are set to debut in the 2016-2017 school year, though absent the change in state law the board is seeking, schools will be required to administer the OGT that year as well,” said a recent release from Focus Education.
This means that this year’s eighth-graders will definitely take the OGT test when they are sophomores. This year’s seventh graders probably will as well, according to the Ohio Department of Education.
After that, the forecast gets hazy. What will replace the OGT? No one knows.
Meanwhile, Kings and thousands of other school districts across the country are trying to prepare for change. The difficulty is knowing just what that “change” will look like.
“Teachers, principals and I have met during early release the past couple of years to prepare for the transition to the new common core and revised standards,” said Kings Secondary Curriculum Director Jerry Gasper.
One thing seems certain: the United States will, eventually, switch over to what is called the “Common Core Curriculum.” The new curriculum is designed to be more rigorous and to better prepare U.S. students for college and careers.
But some have criticized the new Core because it continues to rely heavily on standardized testing to gauge student progress. The tests will also affect teacher pay.
Another change brought about by Core in Ohio is a new system of “grading” schools using traditional letter grades. Instead of categories like “Excellent” or “Academic Emergency,” schools now get an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F.”
This recently caused some confusion when the state released its first round of district report cards. Many districts who had performed well under the old system suddenly saw themselves earning lower grades — even D’s or F’s.
Kings, however, performed well on the new report card. The district earned mostly A’s and B’s in scoring categories such as “Graduation Rate” and “Achievement.”
- Performance Index: B
- 4-Year Graduation Rate: A
- 5- Year Graduation Rate: A
- Value-Added – Overall: A
- Value-Added – Gifted Students: C
- Value-Added – Lowest 20% in Achievement: C
- Value-Added – Students with Disabilities: C
- Annual Measurable Objectives: B
However, Gasper believes the District still has room to grow academically.
“We did well overall, but do have areas in which we can improve.”
As for an overall letter grade, Gasper says Kings will not receive one any time soon.
“An overall District grade will not be out until 2015.”