Penta sees high passage rates for gradution tests
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Friday, 15 June 2012 09:42
The Penta sophomores' high passage rate on the Ohio Graduation Tests was good news for the career center, and good news for its member schools.
Susan Short, supervisor of curriculum and teaching professions, reported to the Penta Board of Education Wednesday that 88 percent of the regular education sophomores passed all their state tests in March.
Given the importance of those tests in ranking school districts, that's important to member schools, she said. Penta students' scores are included with those for their home schools.
More work is needed with special education students, she said. About 50 percent of those students who are mainstreamed into regular classes passed all three graduation tests while 27 percent of the more severely handicapped students passed.
"Obviously we have work to do," Short said.
She noted that local districts have the ability to waive the OGT requirement for students with individual education plans, and "that's what typically happens with all students" with IEPs, she said.
Still Penta does not assume that, nor do Penta teachers tell students that's an option. They want all students to strive to pass the tests, and Penta has seen a steady improvement in the scores of special education students.
"For the last three years in a row we have shown significant progress," she told the board.
Short did say she was disappointed in the passage rate of juniors who took the tests in March, most for the third time. Just over 30 percent passed all the tests they needed to, she said. "It raises a red flag."
In past years it was 50 percent. That came after a "good passage rate" among juniors in the fall. She said she'd be looking into the issue this summer.
Juniors, Short said, by this time don't have the motivation to apply themselves to the test. That changes when they are seniors and passing is necessary to graduate.
Of the more than 500 students in the senior class, only four have not passed all the tests, she said. That includes one student who has poor attendance problems and other academic problems. The other three students are working on passing the tests this week
"We want all our students to pass," Short said.
She also told the board that of the juniors coming to Penta next year, 65 percent still have to pass one or more of the three state tests.
Also at the meeting, the board approved transferring $285,131 to the Toledo Community Foundation Penta Career Center-Technical Student Enrichment Fund.
The monies are generated by in-lieu of taxes agreements with companies receiving tax abatements.
Penta moved that fund to the community foundation in 2010. The fund now has more than $2 million in it, Treasurer Carrie Herringshaw told the board.
Those funds are used to pay the expenses for students and staff to participate in local, state, regional and national competitions.
Also as it has for many years, the board again waived student fees for the coming school year. Superintendent Ron Matter said that the fees being waived amount to $221,750, up from $189,374.
Penta students do have to purchase uniforms.