Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Superintendent Has Asked for Our Input. Contact him here...superintendent@education.ohio.gov

Welcome to the hot seat new Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria. He rode his bike to work yesterday for his first day on the job.

Here's a quote from the avid cyclist and new Superintendent as provided in a press release by his new charges, one of the "worst-run" state agencies (according to Ohio Auditor Dave Yost), the dysfunctional Ohio Department of Education...

“Education defines our future as individuals, as a community, as a state and as a nation,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “It’s an exciting time for education in Ohio, and I look forward to engaging with our families, teachers, administrators, policy makers and advocates to help guide our work at the department.”

While this sounds a lot like rhetoric, I have a wild inclination to be blindly optimistic, just like when the Chair of the House Education Committee Andy Brenner, upon taking that position, told us,  "I am passionate about making sure that every child in this state has equal access to an excellent public education, and am excited to have this opportunity.” Of course Brenner is currently attempting to expand Ohio's voucher system by promoting an amendment to HB 481 that would expand the number of eligible schools through the use of scores on the current assessments. What was that about public education Mr. Brenner?

So, let's say I'm skeptical about this openness to guidance. However, in a bold move on his first day on the job, Superintendent DeMaria has doubled down. According to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he went on to say...

"I want to listen- to get a clear sense of what's happening out here. Share with us. Communicate with us, Tell us what we're doing well, what we're not doing well." He added, "Don't just sit back and stew if you see something you don't like."
And so once again, an educational leader with the state has asked for public input. To be honest, I was planning on offering unsolicited advice anyway, but it's nice to be asked. The issue here is not the lack of an invitation, but a willingness of those in power to act on the recommendations of other stakeholders. I'll concede that we've seen a bit of movement by those in power as evidenced by the slight changes in the assessment system, and charter regulation (however laughable in scope).
My other issue, I guess, is where to begin. There are so many systemic problems in Ohio's education system at the state level, that I'm not sure how to address them all. It might be easiest to tear it down and begin again, repeal all education law outside of the Ohio Constitution and start anew. That solution amounts to "throwing out the baby with the bathwater." No one wants to do this because it sounds terrible for the baby. I believe that depends on who, or what, the baby is in our scenario. If the baby is Ohio's charter schools, then I'm cool with that, regardless of how every well meaning diplomat who has taken campaign donations from William Lager wants to defend millions of dollars in fiscal waste by referencing "effective charters." 
Of course, if the baby is an actual baby, then we can't throw it out. What we do, then, is to teach that kid from pre-K through 12 in a neighborhood public school well funded enough to provide a wealth of programs and small class sizes that can remediate any issues (academic, economic, social) that the baby may have in order to assure an equal educational opportunity.
As it stands, the bathwater of education in Ohio has gotten so filthy with ridiculously partisan anti-public school, pro-privatization, pro-accountability (read pro-high stakes testing) policy that it has become increasingly difficult to provide children with that opportunity. 
Which brings us back to the new Super, who wants to hear what they can do better. Here's my list, which is by no means comprehensive and not in an order that I would consider "of importance." I'm just spitballing. Later this week I'll pare it down into a letter to Mr. DeMaria. I will choose those things that I find most important, that I also believe the Superintendent would be willing to discuss. I encourage you to do the same.
Problems with the Bathwater.
1) A State Superintendant should be chosen for their experience in education, as well as a commitment to quality public schools, not because of their bureaucratic or policy experience, or as an advocate of school choice.
2) The State School Board should be a 100% elected entity in order to, insomuch as possible, eliminate the partisan political agenda of the governor's office.
3) The previous Superintendent (not Lonny), along with members of the ODE, are likely guilty of fraud and should be the subject of a public investigation and criminal proceedings. The state school board and the ODE will have no credibility unless this is undertaken.
4) Ohio's school funding system is unconstitutional and creates widespread educational inequity. Urge that it be fixed immediately.
5) Charter schools, if they must exist, should be funded separately. What the Ohio Republican Party touts as increases to education funding is actually an increase in funding to charter schools because of the existing convoluted formula which takes state and local funding from public schools and redirects those funds to charters which are often ineffective.
6) Charter schools should be subject to the exact same regulations as public schools. Until this happens there should be no more bullshit rhetoric that references a "level playing field" or "apples to apples."
7) Eliminating PARCC as a vendor of assessments did NOT resolve testing issues in the state of Ohio regardless of what you may have heard from your local legislator. AIR is creating PARCC-like assessments which are too long despite being administered in a single window, use a language completely contrary to the vernacular of our students, and are not promoting student achievement, but rather a culture of failure in our schools.
8) All high stakes decisions tied to standardized tests like the 3rd grade guarantee, high school graduation, ratings of teachers, schools and districts should be eliminated as they are an inappropriate use of assessment data.
9) The Ohio Teacher Evaluation System should be eliminated in favor of local instruments for the evaluation of teachers, decided on with the input of local stakeholders. OTES is far too cumbersome and time consuming for both teachers and administrators. It takes valuable resources away from the important work of educating children.
10) Fix the damn ODE website. It is awful, impossible to navigate, and thus completely useless as a meaningful source of information for administrators, teachers, parents, students, and other members of the community. It is Alice's rabbit hole. (I know this last one may seem petty by comparison, but where are we without accurate information on the current system? Lost.)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Thanks Pat Bruns.

I am very grateful to Pat Bruns, state school board member and former teacher, for twice responding to my concerns regarding high school graduation. This is a fine example of democracy in action, an elected official in thoughtful discussion with a citizen. She is an advocate for teachers, students, and public schools in general. In the first passage below, she explains the board's resolution regarding test scores. The second piece is my response to this latest correspondence. Finally, I have included the resolution as provided by Board Member Bruns (unfortunately it didn't copy and paste well). I've also added her initial correspondence with me at the bottom, which might help to clarify her opinions on the matter.

Bruns' email:

Mr. Jablonski,

I wanted to follow-up with the resolution that the State Board passed at the June 14 meeting regarding testing. Please contact me with further questions/concerns.

Some Background: The State Board of Education approved the performance levels for Ohio’s State Tests in mathematics and English language arts during the January 2016 board meeting. This was done with the expectation that Ohio Department of Education staff members would work with our vendor, American Institutes for Research (AIR), to review the early results from the spring test administration in June 2016 to determine if any changes may be recommended to the performance levels.

As you may recall, the performance levels provided were based on recommendations made by panels of educators after reviewing several items, including: actual test items, field test data from other AIRCore states and past performance on assessments such as NAEP, PARCC, Smarter Balanced and Ohio Achievement Assessments.

AIR currently is working to score and analyze the results of Ohio’s spring tests. Based on early results from the spring test administration, AIR is able to predict the number of Ohio students who will reach each performance level.

Thanks so much for your advocacy for your students.


Pat Bruns

My response:

Board Member Bruns,

Thank you for the follow up email. I really appreciated your first reply, and am grateful for your work on the Ohio School Board. Your background as a public school teacher is invaluable in weighing in on the board's decisions. Thank you for your work on a school board that seems hostile to public schools and public school students and teachers, though I'm sure they would argue to the contrary.

I was in attendance for a portion of the school board meeting on the 14th and appreciated your question regarding business partnerships to the school leaders who gave the presentation. I also appreciated Board Member Oakar's concerns about students being able to overcome environmental issues, and A.J. Wagner's realistic defense of my initial argument regarding graduation rates. Unfortunately, the majority of the board seems to be operating on an educational philosophy regarding assessment that is decades old, and has been repeatedly disproven. This philosophy, that increasingly difficult (to pass) assessments increase student achievement, does not justify the negative impact high stakes tests have on students.

I appreciate the degree of analysis that goes into setting the cut scores. I understand that ODE and AIR reps, along with a handful of teachers, take part in analysis of test items, NAEP, and data from other states, but what we're failing to recognize is the continuing direct correlation between demographics and test scores. Your colleagues have seemed willing to address the issue when it comes to charter school ratings, but not when it comes to poor public school kids at risk for not graduating. 

Incidentally, if the analysis of Washington's NAEP and other scores (the state we used as a model) weighed in on these decisions, we should have looked at their process for setting scores. They purposefully chose proficient percentages comparable to their previous testing system, instead of 30% lower like we have done. If 80% were proficient on the previous assessment, then 80% were proficient on the new one. They were also careful regarding tying high stakes decisions, like graduation, to brand new assessments. We may have been better served to take this measured approach, rather than leaping blindly into an unproven system, twice.

After all, in the first year of the OGT, the tests didn't count for graduation. In the first year of the 3rd grade guarantee, the assessment used was the OAA, not PARCC or AIR's PARCC-like assessments. Also, the way I understand it, cut scores were lowered for an alternative assessment for 3rd graders. All I've been arguing for is a more humane system for high school students.

Don't get me wrong, I am working to figure out the best methods to educate in order to assure success on the new assessments. We are all working to figure out interventions to increase scores upon retakes of tests. We are public school teachers, as you were. We adapt and overcome for the sake of our students. I'm just not sure that this process is increasing achievement or making students "career and college ready" as much as it is increasing their capabilities as test takers.

All in all, I'm happy that my message is out there regarding the terribly low proficient rates and the danger they present regarding graduation. If I am wrong, as so many in attendance at the meeting seem to believe, then I will be happy because my students will be graduating without issue. If I am right, then at least we have begun the discussion.

Thanks again for your time and work on behalf of Ohio's students.

Matthew T. Jablonski

The resolution:

Section 3301.0712 of the Revised Code requires a system of college and work ready tests, and Section 3301.0710 requires statewide achievement assessments at the end of grades three through eight. On each of those tests, the State Board is responsible for determining and designating five ranges of scores that demonstrate levels of achievement.  In 2015/2016 Ohio will administer new assessments in the subject areas of mathematics and English/Language Arts.  The Board previously adopted performance levels on the assessments in January 2016.  The Ohio Department of Education and its technical advisory panel on testing have now reviewed preliminary results from spring testing.  Based upon those preliminary results, the Department recommends adjusting the performance level on two of the tests, Geometry and Integrated Mathematics II.  The other performance levels will remain as set in January 2016.  




The Achievement Committee RECOMMENDS that the State Board of Education ADOPT the following Resolution:


Section 3301.0712 requires a system of college and work ready tests, which includes end-of-course tests in specified subjects and requires the state board to determine and designate at least five ranges of scores that demonstrate levels of achievements on these tests;


The State Board of Education in January 2016 previously set performance levels for the 2015-2016 school year on all tests:  


The Department has now had the opportunity to review the 2016 spring Ohio testing data, and

recommends adjusting the performance levels for two of the tests, Geometry and Integrated Math II; 


The Achievement Committee approved the adjustment of the performance levels on these two tests at its meeting in June 2016; and 


Emergency consideration of this resolution has been approved by Board leadership because setting these performance levels immediately is necessary to prevent delaying the 2015/2016 report card:  Therefore, Be It


RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education hereby adopts adjusted performance levels for 2015/2016 for the tests in Geometry and Integrated Mathematics II, as set forth below:  








Proficient or Above Total



% Raw



% Raw



% Raw


















Math 2











%Act. is the percent of students actually scoring in each performance level from the spring 2016 test administration based on early return data

%Raw Pts. is the percent of raw score points needed to achieve each performance level

If you're interested, this was the first piece of correspondence that I received from Pat Bruns on the issue of test scores and graduation rates prior to the state board meeting...

Mr. Jablonski,

I would agree that 2015-16 testing and the resulting Report Card is a disaster. We will actually be discussing the very issues you have raised about the 2015 test results, timeliness of the reporting, and discrepancies in several of the math tests as you have pointed out at our June 13-14 Board meeting.
As a retired educator, I believe that tests are merely a snapshot of a student's progress.  I am supportive of using the ACT/SAT, a nationally normed assessment. As much as possible, we should rely on local districts to determine appropriate assessments and benchmarks for their unique population.  Those closest to the work with students should be crafting instruction and assessments that honor the individual and shape strategies to help them progress.  Several key questions we should be asking might include:

Does the assessment measure the learning standards objectives and expectations for students at each level and academic area?
Are the assessments designed for ongoing classroom strategies or for the district strategic planning?
Are the assessments transparent, timely and easily understood by the intended audience?
Is the measurement clearly tied to a specific learning objective?

I will be sure to remind my colleagues of your concerns as we continue to debate the purpose of and most appropriate assessments that will help students thrive and succeed.

Thanks for advocating so passionately for your students!  Contact or call me anytime before Monday to further discuss other ways I can forward your ideas.

In the meantime, enjoy a well-deserved "break in the action"!



Pat Bruns
State Board of Education member 
District 4

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Few Things I Learned at the State School Board Meeting Today.

So, my wife and I drove a few hours to Columbus today for the state board meeting to see what came of the decision on cut scores. I'd contacted the board twice before on the issue, so didn't really plan to testify, but kind of wanted to see what would go down. Predictably, their decision did little to help students like mine in Elyria, and is based on the assumption that we'll all simply pull ourselves up by the old educational bootstraps, get down to real work, and just get proficient already.

On the up side, I got to spend the day with my lovely wife. Also, while in Columbus it was great to see some friends from Public Education Partners, and have an interesting conversation with a former teacher, Representative Fedor, who is optimistic we're on the verge of some meaningful educational change. I'd like to thank Board Member A.J. Wagner for asking good questions about those kids who "don't quite make the cut" on these tests for graduation. He's made a great number of people aware of what I believe is a significant issue. Mary Rose Oakar and Pat Bruns also raised important points about intervention, overcoming environmental issues, and community partnerships. While the decisions made about the cut scores left me a bit numb and still quite worried, I'm also convinced that there are some good people keeping an eye on things.

Here's some other things I learned at today's meeting.

Rigor: n. in education, A myth used by reformers to justify the continued use of a ridiculous volume of standardized assessments with arbitrary and absurd cut scores that tend to assure increases in student non-proficiency (read failure), especially among the economically disadvantaged. Ex. We'll maintain the cut scores on the Math II assessment so that 30% score proficient and above in order to increase the rigor of Ohio's educational system.

College or Career Ready: adj. in education, A term used to describe the desired intellectual skill-set and corresponding curricular content knowledge to be possessed by a student in order to graduate. This state of existence is only measurable through the use of extensive standardized assessments, so long as they contain sufficient rigor (see above).

Living Wage Job: n. An increasingly rare occupation in the state of Ohio that actually allows one to maintain the means to house, clothe, feed, and care for oneself without seeking multiple jobs. These are available only to "College or Career Ready" students as proven through the aforementioned system of rigorous testing. If you are one of these students, please contact Thomas Lasley of the University of Dayton at (937)229-5773who knows of hundreds of these positions in the greater Dayton area according to his testimony today.

The ACT: n. For State School Board Member Kathleen McGervey who I overheard mistakenly referring to the ACT as a method to make up Math tests for graduation in Ohio, before declaring in exasperation "Well, we can't just let anybody graduate!" The ACT is a college entrance exam that can be used as one of the 3 pathways to graduation in Ohio. Students who earn a remediation free score on the ACT are eligible to graduate after having secured the requisite number of course credits. The ACT is not a viable path to graduation for students struggling on End of Year Assessments. It is unlikely that a student scoring poorly on his Algebra, Geometry, English or other assessments will score remediation free on the ACT.

WorkKeys Assessment: n. Another of the 3 paths to graduation, hardly mentioned today because no one is quite sure what the hell it is. Actually, these tests accompany an industry recognized credential which, as it turns out, are only associated with roughly half of the vocational programs available, severely limiting its effectiveness as a viable path to graduation.

"The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations": bs, A George W. Bush quote from a speech to the NAACP, used in-part to inspire confidence in No Child Left Behind. Bush supposed that it was simply a lack of appropriate rigor (see above), and a lack of a satisfactory volume of assessment that was creating achievement gaps in U.S. Education. The quote was trotted out today by Board Member C. Todd Jones to defend the possibility of a steep decline in graduation rates as presented by A.J. Wagner. Remaining purposefully obtuse to the data that illustrates a direct correlation between test scores and demographics, Jones didn't appear to give a damn, as they say, if 20, 40, or even 60% of kids didn't graduate, so long as the expectations and accompanying rigor (yes, again) are kept at a satisfactory level. He oddly used this Bush quote after saying something to the effect of 'what type of skills do "those people" need' as he rambled through a history of the education of the lower classes in the United States. 

First, Mr. Jones should realize that this is offensive, and he would be better served addressing the "hard bigotry" that has become pervasive in his political party. Second, he should be made aware that he was using a quote that furthered a piece of legislation, NCLB, that was based on the lie (the Texas Education Miracle) that increased assessments would bring increased achievement. For better than a decade we've been running kids through a meat grinder of an assessment system in the United States and gaps have not closed, and achievement has not increased. And yet Mr. Jones, again despite all actual facts to the contrary, persists not only with the failed philosophy, but also with the tired old quote from a failed President.

Double Down: v. The methodology used by C. Todd Jones in the above example.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Argument Begins.

So, the Plain Dealer has finally given some print time to the graduation issue.

I'm happy there is a discussion going on, even though Patrick O'Donnell gives more time to those who would label me an "Alarmist" for being concerned about plummeting graduation rates, or claim I am someone who would simply graduate students who have accomplished very little. 

Allow me, in my own way, to address a few issues presented by my detractors in the article.

First, the issue of "raising standards." From the article, "State school board President Tom Gunlock said the state is making a conscious decision to raise standards so that schools only give diplomas to kids who are prepared for the workforce or college."

As a professional educator, I have no problem with raising standards. I raise standards incrementally in my classroom based upon my analysis of data that I collect from student work, responses, assessments, on a daily basis. The expectation or assignments are then differentiated for groups of, and individual students so that they can be challenged and not overwhelmed, progressing from where they are academically, intellectually, socially, etcetera. 

With all due respect to the Board President, the state's "conscious decision" is not about raising standards in education. Their "conscious decision" is to use brand new assessments, provide teachers and students with little information on the tests themselves, very little data on student performance (far less than the OGT), set arbitrary cut scores to assure fewer students pass, fewer students graduate, and then assume this will result in student preparedness.

Board President Gunlock's philosophy is based on the assumption that standardized assessments will drive achievement. It is based on the Texas Education Miracle in which this very thing occurred more than ten years ago. The problem is, it didn't happen. That district was manipulating data (not unlike Gunlock's state cronies were doing for charters last year), manufacturing success where there was none. Furthermore, overall, in Texas, Ohio, and nationwide, student achievement has not increased as a result of our culture of testing. NAEP scores have plateaued, at best, gaps are not being closed, and educational inequity has only gotten worse.

Second, from the article...
It is too early to tell whether this represents a trend or just a one-time blip," said Damon Asbury, the association's director of legislative services. "It was a new test, so the problem could lie with the test or the student performance."

Hey Mr. Asbury, it was a new test last year as well, and since the state claims they are phasing out questions borrowed from other states next year, isn't that technically a new test also? And if this is "just a one-time blip" as you say, or more than that as I suggest, then how in the hell can we justify using these results as a graduation requirement?

Third, from of our conservative friend Chad Aldis of the Fordham Institute, which has been a major backer of college and career readiness standards across the country, said he believes standards, on the whole, are realistic.  Students , he said, will have to bear down and schools will have to help kids catch up. If that means that students re-take classes and tests, so be it, he said.

Thanks for weighing in, Chad. So, as these students "bear down" as you say, disproportionate numbers of them from economically disadvantaged districts according to last year's numbers (this year's aren't available by district), who will teach those courses and what will they teach? Perhaps Chad is unaware that most districts are struggling for funding, cutting teachers, programs, and the very support staff that might enable our students to "catch up." Assuming teachers were available to teach remediation, or test-prep classes, what the hell would we teach? The state has released alarmingly little information about these tests, and a terrible lack of data on student performance on these new rigorous standards. So, no information, no data, but if those of us working in districts with high numbers of impoverished students would simply "bear down", then we will find success.

I guess Chad and his colleagues at the Fordham Institute would also argue that if we in public schools are unable to assure college and career readiness (read success on a standardized test), then those students should seek out a charter school, of which they are also "major backers." The very charters whose siphoning of funding from the public schools make it difficult to maintain the very programs to assure student success. Also, when charters were concerned about being rated low because of results on standardized tests, Mr. Aldis was opposed to using these measures for evaluation because they "correlate with demographics." This is exactly why they shouldn't be used as a graduation requirement. Again, thanks for weighing in on this matter, Chad, but you are a walking contradiction. It's OK to use these scores to prevent kids from graduating, but not when it comes to hindering the ratings of Fordham's charters. For what it's worth, if you'd like to visit one of Ohio's many urban high schools in order to instruct us on how to appropriately "bear down," I'm sure you would be welcome.

One more. This one from a Thomas Lasley of "Learn to Earn." "I'm not where A.J.'s at on this at all," said Lasley, who works with both suburban and city schools. "I don't know how students are going to secure a living wage at all without a marketable skill."

Mr. Lasley, kindly forward the research you're referencing that indicates that a student's performance on a standardized assessment is directly correlated to securing a living wage job.  Also, please publish the list of living wage jobs that you allude to that currently exist in the state of Ohio. I'm sure the 5.2% of Ohioans currently unemployed, not to mention those currently underemployed, would be very interested in that information.

Unlike Mr. Lasley, I am with A.J., State School Board member A.J. Wagner who was also quoted in the article...

"Once these new standards are enacted for the class of 2018, we will see steep declines to about 60 percent (Graduation Rate). This isn't because Ohio's students have lost their intelligence, it isn't because they've stopped trying. It isn't because teachers have suddenly given up, the decline from over 90 percent graduation rate to 60 percent will be from policy makers who have decided that every student must be prepared for college or they must be failed."

"Consequences, especially to the poor and middle income families, be damned," he added.

Friday, June 3, 2016

With friends like this...

So, it's the first day of summer. I should be in the yard playing soccer with the kids or sitting quietly with my cat, but here I am writing about education because the Ohio Board of Education won't leave us alone. More accurately, the actions of the Board and the ODE have become a menace to high school students. This week, their suggestions about cut scores on the End of Course tests seem to suggest that they believe it's O.K. if 50-70% of our high school students don't score high enough on the state assessments in order to maintain the per test average necessary to graduate (2.57, when a 3 is given for proficient).

Some early information was just publicized about student scores on the spring assessments that indicate alarmingly low proficiency rates in Math II and Geometry. In Geometry, based on the levels set by the state, they have indicated only 24% of students scoring proficient and above. As you may have read in prior posts, I thought their earlier projections were problematic. This is a nightmare. Their plan to "fix" the issue is to lower the cut score to include more students in the proficient or above categories. Their adjustment would still leave close to half of Ohio high school students with scores lower than they need to stay on pace for graduation. The Plain Dealer just posted a piece about the situation...(ignore the description in the article of the graduation requirements because they are oversimplified and partially incorrect).

Now, if you're as concerned as I am, and I hope that someone is, please write the school board members. Tell them why you're concerned. Explain how you or someone you know might be impacted. Describe your opposition to high stakes testing. Implore them to get rid of a testing requirement for graduation, or at least to adjust the cut scores more appropriately (they already set them arbitrarily, why not adjust them arbitrarily). I just finished emailing them all. I have included my remarks below if you'd like to get some ideas. I am also including the contact info for all of the board members. Please help.

Board Member

When the ODE released the projected scores for the spring assessments back in January, which the state school board agreed to, I found them problematic, if not alarming. As an American History teacher for 18 years at Elyria High School my focus was drawn to the statistics that said fewer than 60% of students statewide would score proficient or above on their Math and ELA assessments. A student needs an average of 2.57 points on each of their tests in high school in order to compile enough to graduate. The January projections indicated that more than 40% of students would NOT be acquiring adequate points toward graduation. I also recognized that this situation could be catastrophic for Elyria and other districts whose socio-economic issues have always exacerbated problems related to standardized testing. In other words, if the split was roughly 60/40 for students statewide, then what would it be for my school.

When I heard this week that fewer than 30% would be scoring proficient or above based on this spring's actual scores in Geometry, it made me sick. We are administering brand new assessments in Ohio, borrowing questions from other states, claiming to have proven validity on tests not yet a year old, and arbitrarily setting passing rates that will fail 70% of our students. Can you imagine if I taught a class where that percentage of students were guaranteed not to pass? Now imagine that your children are in that class. This is an injustice. Teachers and students have been given very little information on the tests, no data for improvement has been, or will be, forthcoming from the ODE, and yet a student's graduation is dependent upon these assessments. 

When this push for accountability began more than a decade ago, we were led to believe that high stakes testing would bring increased rigor and improvement to our schools. By all research, that experiment has failed. Your decision regarding these scores is not about rigor. Your decision has a lot more to do with whether or not you intend to prevent 70% of Ohio's high school students from graduating.

I would prefer that you eliminate the graduation requirement entirely, at least until the assessment mess that exists in Ohio can be remedied. At a minimum, please consider setting cut scores that give our students, my students, a fighting chance at compiling the necessary points for graduation.

If you would like any further insight into what I have suggested here, or there is any way that I can be of assistance, please let me know.

Yours in education,

Matthew T. Jablonski
Phone Number