If this sounds familiar, it should. This was the ACT Plus contained within House Bill 1 of the previous General Assembly when Gov. Ted Strickland introduced the idea. No mention of Strickland's role in the plan was mentioned in the Dispatch story (except in a vague reference to the number of years the plan was in the making), but make no mistake, this doesn't happen without Strickland's initiative in 2009.
For those who don't remember, Strickland's initial plan called for an ACT, end of course exams and a community project to be completed by each student instead of the OGT. (In the Ohio House, we discarded the community service project because there was reticence on behalf of some to include "soft skills" for graduation. I disagreed, but when making sausage...)
The OGT is a problem because you can have kids blowing the tops off the ACT or SAT, on a path to a great college, but not be able to get a diploma because they failed to pass the OGT. It's a ridiculous outcome. I always liked the ACT requirement because you're going to have kids who never considered going to college take the ACT to graduate and realize they could go to a pretty good school. It will help boost our number of college graduates, which has typically dragged compared with the rest of the nation.
The new plan doesn't mention the ACT or SAT by name, but those types of tests are what Ohio's "college-readiness exam" would certainly describe.
Here was Sawyer's quote:
"This is a major step forward in our reform efforts to ensure all Ohio students have the knowledge and skills necessary to leave school remediation-free and ready for their postsecondary experience in higher education or work-force training”
"Our goal is to advance degree completion in the state. One of the key ways to accomplish this goal is to ensure students are college- and career-ready. Eliminating the OGT and replacing it with a better gauge of college readiness will help students to be more successful."I couldn't agree more.