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State Schools Superintendent Explains New Testing Standard

a photo of Paolo DeMaria
Ohio Superintendent of schools Paolo DeMaria

State testing season in Ohio’s schools takes place in the spring. And next week, the state school superintendent and the Ohio Department of Education will set minimum scores for students to show competency in Algebra 1 and English II – but they won’t be required to be proficient. 

New graduation requirements require competency on those tests, and superintendent Paolo DeMaria says the “competency” score will be somewhere between “basic” and “proficient” on the current state testing scale. He says this isn’t a lowering of the bar, because it’s never been required for students to score “proficient” on those tests to graduate. He says this just sets a baseline standard.

“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,” DeMaria said. 

The new graduation standards also allow options besides competency on tests to earn diplomas starting in 2023, but DeMaria says going beyond competency will still be emphasized to students.