by Kristin Casale
Stow -- Stow-Munroe Falls High School Principal Rick Bailey said he is pleased with this year's sophomores' performance on the Ohio Graduation Test.
According to Bailey, the sophomores who took the graduation test this year had higher scores in three areas than the group that took the test last year.
He said this year's sophomore class improved in math, writing and science, stating the scores for reading and social studies stayed approximately the same.
"That was nice to see," said Bailey.
The majority of this year's sophomores will not be required to retake the test, he said.
According to Bailey, 89.7 percent of the students passed the social studies section; 86.9 percent passed the science portion; 94.7 passed the reading section; 93.2 percent passed the math portion; and 97.6 percent passed the writing section.
According Bailey, 89.7 percent of last year's group of test takers passed the social studies section; 85.9 percent passed the science portion; 94.9 percent passed the reading portion; 91.9 percent passed the math section; and 89.5 percent passed the writing portion.
He said students can receive a proficient score, an accelerated score or an advanced score.
"This year's sophomore class had more students in the accelerated and advanced levels than ever before," said Bailey. "That is a tribute to the kids' hard work and our teachers as well. They focus on the Ohio content standards."
Two seniors will not graduate due to scores
Bailey said two seniors will not graduate next month because they were unable to pass the Ohio Graduation Test. According to District Superintendent Dr. Russell Jones, those students must repeat their senior year next fall because they failed the test.
Students must pass the test to graduate. The test requires seniors to be proficient in math, reading, writing, social studies and science.
"That one test can clinch it," said Jones.
There is no other opportunity available for the seniors who failed to retake the test this school year, he said, stating students first take the test as sophomores. Students are able to retake the test several more times before they are slated to graduate, he said.
This year's graduating class is expected to total 485 students. The commencement ceremony is scheduled for June 4 at 8 p.m. in E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall at 141 Hill St. in Akron.
Jones said while the number of seniors who failed the test was low, that does not comfort school officials.
"We're never satisfied unless they all pass," he said.
Jones said staff members make it a priority for students to pass the test.
"The curriculum is designed to teach the state standards," he said.
The material the seniors are tested on is taught throughout the school year, said Jones.
"There are other instructions that take place," he said. "There are practice tests, other materials are distributed and state Web sites are used."