CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Angela Figueroa is a senior at Lorain High School. She says she’s set to graduate ahead of time in December, a far cry from the students who fear they may not graduate at all.
"I got a letter from the honor society," said Figueroa, proudly.
Figueroa is one of the lucky ones. She says she has even more than the required credits to graduate. Not every senior at Lorain High School can say that. In fact, as we discovered, the school’s CEO David Hardy said at a public meeting just last week that close to a quarter of the seniors are in jeopardy of not having what they need to graduate.
We also found out that's because the state passed a law back in 2014 changing and reducing the so-called pathways by which students could graduate.
We wanted to know exactly what that meant.
After contacting the Ohio Department of Education, we found out that students across the state of Ohio can graduate one of three ways:
- By earning 18 out of the 35 points on seven end-of-course state tests,
- Earn an industry-recognized credential and get an acceptable score on a test where questions are based on situations in the everyday work world.
- Earn acceptable scores on the ACT or SAT.
Our investigation also revealed that the class of 2018 was allowed exceptions and additional ways to earn their high school diplomas.
Now, we’ve learned that the Ohio Department of Education has recommended that the classes of 2019 and 2020 are also extended the same options that can include combinations of excellent attendance records and community service or work experience, for example.
So far, the state legislature has not made a decision on whether or not seniors and juniors across the state will be given more graduation pathway choices like last year’s senior class.