CALL TO ACTION: A Proposal to Address Graduation Requirements



June 6, 2019

Dear Mayfield Community,

I hope this letter finds you well and you are have having a terrific start to your summer. I once again need your support to influence education policy and legislation. Below you will find a proposal that, if you so choose would enhance how our students learn beyond state testing.  Mayfield City Schools is a member of the Alliance for High Quality Education (AHQE). As a member of the AHQE, I serve on a subcommittee that addresses education policy and legislation issues. Our current work involves solving two important issues that impact students.

  1. The over testing of our children on state exams. 

  2. The related issue of recent convoluted high graduation requirement policy proposals.

The Alliance for High Quality Education is an organization that represents the policy and legislative interests of over 70 of the finest school districts in Ohio. We have teamed up with the Fordham Institute, Ohio Excels and the Ohio 8 to reduce state testing and develop a more logical and student-centered approach to earning a high school diploma. There are three important elements to this proposal.

  1. Maintaining the course completion requirements.

  2. Providing alternative graduation pathways for students who are ready to work or who may join the military, following high school.

  3. Eliminate at least two of the state high school testing requirements.

Your past support on these issues has resulted in legislative changes that positively impacted our students and graduates. Your continued support and voice for the proposal below will allow our progress to move ahead. This proposal is currently under review and state-level decisions are expected in the next couple of weeks. The complete proposal is below the sample letter for your review.

If you so choose, please send an e-mail with the sample letter below to the following:

Senator Peggy Lehner

Peggy Lehner

State Board of Education President


You can use the following verbiage for your email.

Dear (Senator Lehner or President Kohler),

I am in support or the Graduation Requirements Proposal presented by the Alliance for High Quality Education. Its aims to reduce state testing, provide alternative pathways toward graduation and provide a more logical and student-centered approach to high school graduation requirements benefits all children. It is important that our educational systems of testing, accountability and graduation requirements reflect the relevance of our students being college and career ready.

Thank you for your work and consideration.




Course Completion

Students earn the minimum high school course credits set by the state and district.


Students must earn a competent score on the state’s Algebra I and English II tests. 

Students not scoring competent on a test must receive remedial supports and retake the exams at least once. If a student still does not score competent, they may use an alternate demonstration:

1.           College Credit Plus: Earn credit for one math and one English course through College Credit Plus.

2.           Career Experience & Technical Skill: Complete two demonstrations, at least one of which must be foundational:

i.            Foundational: Proficient on four WebXams, approved industry credential (12 points), pre-apprenticeship or acceptance into an apprenticeship program

ii.           Supporting: Workplace experience, WorkKeys or the OhioMeansJobs Readiness Seal

  1. Military Readiness: Meet the requirements to enlist in the military, including AFQT requirements, as demonstrated by a contract with the military to enlist upon graduation.

Preparation for College or Career

Students must earn two diploma seals, one of which must be state defined:

1.           OhioMeansJobs Readiness Seal (State) – Demonstrate professional skills.

2.           Industry-Recognized Credential Seal (State) – Earn 12 points worth of approved credentials.

3.           College-Ready Seal (State) – Score remediation-free on the ACT or SAT in math and English.

4.           Military Enlistment Seal (State) – Participate in JROTC and/or enroll in the military.

5.           Citizenship Seal (State) – Score proficient on the American History and American Government tests.

6.           Science Seal (State) – Score proficient on the Biology test.

7.           Honors Diploma Seal (State) – Meet the requirements set by the State Board of Education.

8.           Seal of Biliteracy (State) – Demonstrate levels of proficiency in at least one other language.

9.           Technology Seal (State) – Complete advanced coursework in a technology field.

10.         Community Service Seal (Local) – Complete community service using locally-developed guidelines.

11.         Fine and Performing Arts Seal (Local) – Demonstrate skills using locally-developed guidelines.

12.         Certified Student Engagement Seal (Local) – Participate in meaningful activities such as athletics, clubs and student government as defined by locally-developed guidelines.

Identification & Supports

•            Identify & Notify: Identify students at risk of not graduating on time no later than the ninth grade through an early warning system and require notification to families that connects current performance to graduation.

•            New Supports: Provide additional supports or educational options, like project-based learning or career-technical programming, to help identified students get on track. Provide educators supports for implementation.

•            A New 13th Year: Develop options for students who are not prepared to graduate at the end of 12th grade that allow them to continue learning during a 13th year and that reduce the stigma of not graduating on time.

Testing Changes

•            Reduce the number of high school tests from seven to five by eliminating the English I and Geometry tests.

•            Restrict the testing that students must use for graduation requirement purposes to

only Algebra I and English II.

•            Require the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board, in consultation with higher education, K-12 and career tech to identify the essential knowledge and skills required for students to be successful after high school and identify a new score – competent – for the Algebra I and English II tests that align with the essential skills and knowledge no later than March 2020.

Transition Timeline

•            Classes of 2021 and 2022: Complete one of the original three options or this new proposal, as available.

•            Classes of 2023 and Beyond: Meet the requirements of this new proposal.

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