Graduation Flexibility Course Grade Substitution 2020-2021
The inability of some students to take state tests due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis during the 2020-2021 school year may impact their abilities to meet graduation requirements. During these unprecedented times, Ohio’s education community understands providing continued flexibility is necessary for students to meet graduation requirements. Ensuring students can receive diplomas and successfully transition to college, the workforce, the military or self-sustaining vocations is critical. This webpage is designed to help districts and schools implement flexibilities granted by recently passed legislation (specifically, House Bill 67 of the 134th General Assembly) in response to unusual circumstances resulting from the pandemic.
Course Grade Substitutions
Recently enacted legislation (Section 9 of HB 67) allows districts and schools to substitute an eligible student’s final course grade in an eligible course for the corresponding high school end-of-course test. This bill waives the requirement for school districts and schools to administer the U.S. history end-of-course test during the 2020-2021 school year. However, the legislation did not waive the requirement to administer the other end-of-course tests.
Substituting course grades for eligible students will ensure minimal disruption to a student’s educational experience. Students who use course grade substitution also may elect to take the associated end-of-course tests during a future administration. For example, a junior or senior who took an American government course and end-of-course test during the 2020-2021 school year has the choice to use his or her end-of-course test score or substitute his or her final course grade for a corresponding point value or performance level on the American government end-of-course test.
Student Eligibility for Course Grade Substitutions
Students are eligible for course grade flexibility in the 2020-2021 school year if they either:
- Were in the 11th or 12th grade in the 2020-2021 school year and took or retook an end-of-course test; OR
- Were in the 11th or 12th grade in the 2020-2021 school year and were unable to take or retake an end-of-course test for any reason.
For an eligible student, a qualifying course is any course associated with an end-of-course test. This includes courses taken at any grade level, including prior to high school. Qualifying courses include the following:
- English Language Arts I;
- English Language Arts II;
- Algebra I or Integrated Math I;
- Geometry or Integrated Math II;
- American history; and
- American government.
Course Grade Substitution — Grading Scales
Eligible students can substitute corresponding course grades for a skill level or point value on end-of-course tests. Students who were scheduled to take the examination for the first time and were unable to do so should use the final grades for the courses in which they were enrolled in the relevant year. Eligible students who were scheduled to take or retake tests may use current or previous corresponding eligible course grades or point values on end-of-course tests for the purposes of substitution.
A-F Grading Scale
In cases where a student is given a final course grade using an A through F grading scale, a student’s final course grade will be translated to an equivalent skill level or point value on end-of-course tests according to the following scale:
|Final Course Grade
||Skill level / Point Value
||Advanced and Competent/5
||Accelerated and Competent/4
||Proficient and Competent/3
||Basic and Not Competent/2
||Limited and Not Competent/1
Pass/Fail Grading Scale
In cases where a student is given a final course grade of pass/fail, complete/incomplete or another similar measure, a “fail” or equivalent designation would earn a student a skill level and point value equivalent to an “F” in the table above. Districts and schools are responsible for determining the equivalent grade or appropriate skill level assigned to a “pass” grade. For the purposes of competency in Ohio’s long-term graduation requirements, a “pass” designation will be equivalent to competency and a “fail” designation will not meet the competency requirement.
Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities who are using accommodations and/or modifications per an individualized education program (IEP) to access qualifying course content are equally eligible for course grade substitutions as outlined above.
Impact on Specific Graduation Pathways
Eligible students have access to many graduation pathways that require demonstration of proficiency, competency and readiness through Ohio’s State Tests. Regardless of the chosen graduation pathway, students in all graduation cohorts must take all required end-of-course tests. For all pathways, an eligible student’s course grade substitution can count toward the end-of-course test requirement for graduation purposes. For example, if an eligible student substitutes a course grade of “B” for the American government end-of-course test, the student would meet the requirement to test in American government and would not have to take that test in the future unless the student chooses to do so. The following graduation pathways are impacted by this flexibility:
Ohio’s State Tests Pathway — Available to the Classes of 2018-2022:
To graduate using this pathway, a student must earn a minimum of 20 course credits in specified subject areas and earn at least 18 points on Ohio’s State Tests. Each subject test score earns a student up to five graduation points. Students must earn a minimum of four points in math, four points in English language arts and six points between science and social studies.
With the flexibility provided by course grade substitutions, eligible students can substitute final course grades as equivalent points for all qualifying courses completed in the 2020-2021 school year or for any tests they took or retook in the 2020-2021 school year.
Long-Term Requirements Pathway — Available to the Classes of 2018 and Beyond:
To graduate using this pathway, a student must earn a minimum of 20 course credits in specified subject areas, show competency in English language arts and mathematics and earn two diploma seals. Ohio’s high school end-of-course tests play a direct role in determining student competency and earning seals. Of the 12 seal options, three seals directly rely on end-of-course test results to determine seal attainment.
Competency: To meet competency requirements, a student must earn a score of 684 or higher on Ohio’s high school Algebra I and English Language Arts II end-of-course tests. Students who do not pass one or both of these tests must be offered additional support and must retake the test(s) at least once before accessing competency alternatives. Completion of an eligible course in the 2020-2021 school year counts as an attempt at the corresponding examination for eligible students.
A student earning a final course grade of “pass” or a grade of C or higher in an eligible course is deemed to have met the competency requirement. Students earning a final course grade of “fail” or a grade of D or F shall be deemed to have not met the competency requirement.
Science Seal: One way a student may earn the Science Seal is by earning a score of proficient or higher on the biology end-of-course test. A student earning a final course grade of C or higher in a biology course may earn the Science Seal. In the case of “pass/fail” grading scales, it is up to a student’s district or school to determine whether a grade of “pass” would earn a student the Science Seal. A student earning a “fail” or equivalent designation would not meet this requirement to earn the Science Seal.
Click here for more information on the Science Seal.
Citizenship Seal: One way a student may earn the Citizenship Seal is by earning a score of proficient or higher on the American history and American government end-of-course tests.
Eligible students under the recently passed legislation may earn the Citizenship Seal by attaining a final course grade of C or higher or a “pass” or its equivalent in American history and American government courses. In the case of “pass/fail” grading scales, it is up to a student’s district or school to determine whether a grade of “pass” would meet the requirement for the Citizenship Seal. A student earning a “fail” or equivalent designation would not meet this requirement to earn the Citizenship Seal. Eligible students may combine a final course grade equivalency with an end-of-course test score or use two course grade equivalencies to meet the requirements of the seal.
NOTE: This course grade substitution is not available to students outside of the 11th or 12th grade. Though recent legislation (Section 3 of HB 67) made administration of the American history end-of-course test optional for the 2020-2021 school year, students outside of the 11th or 12th grade still are required to earn a proficient score on the American history end-of-course test as an option for the Citizenship Seal. Currently, these students are not eligible to substitute their course grades for scores on this test. For further information about whether to administer the American history end-of-course test, please review this information from the Office of Assessment. The Department strongly recommends schools make the American history end-of-course test available to students who wish to take it, especially those students outside the 11th or 12th grades.
Click here for more information on the Citizenship Seal.
Seal of Biliteracy: To earn the Seal of Biliteracy, a student must show proficiency in English and another language. One of the options for showing proficiency in English is earning a score of proficient or higher on the English Language Arts I and II end-of-course tests (only the English Language Arts II end-of-course test is required for the classes of 2023 and beyond).
Eligible students also may show proficiency in English language arts by earning a final course grade of C or higher or a “pass” or its equivalent in the relevant English language arts courses. Students in the classes of 2022 and prior may combine a final course grade equivalency in English Language Arts I or II with an end-of-course test score or use two course grade equivalencies to meet the English language proficiency requirements for the seal.
Click here for more information on the Seal of Biliteracy.
Last Modified: 9/15/2022 7:41:03 AM