To graduate, students must earn a "competency” score on the English language arts II and Algebra I (or integrated math I) end-of-course tests or complete other options. Students not earning competency scores on the first attempt must be offered appropriate remediation and supports and retake the relevant test at least once. In lieu of attaining competency scores on the state tests, students can choose between four other ways to demonstrate competency following remediation and second test attempts. See Ohio Revised Code section 3313.618(B)(1).
Ohio law directed the Department of Education, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Office of Workforce Transformation, to establish a competency score on the English language arts II and Algebra I end-of-course tests. The Ohio Department of Education, after gathering feedback from education stakeholders and business communities of Ohio, determined that “competency” would be set at a score of 684 for both the English language arts II and Algebra I tests. See Ohio Revised Code section 3301.0712(B)(10).
Alternative Demonstrations of Competency
Ohio law establishes multiple pathways to demonstrating competency beyond Ohio's state tests. Prior to being eligible to demonstrate competency in these, students first must receive remedial supports and retake the test. The alternative ways to demonstrate competency are as follows:
Questions and Answers
What are the competency scores for the two tests?
- For the Algebra I test, the competency score is 684.
- For the English language arts II test, the competency score is 684.
Which students are required to use the competency scores for graduation purposes?
Students entering ninth grade on or after July 1, 2019, must use the competency scores as part of meeting their graduation requirements. Detailed information on these graduation requirements for the Classes of 2023 and beyond can be found here.
In addition, students who entered ninth grade between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2019, may use the competency scores if they choose to meet the same graduation requirements as students in the Classes of 2023 and beyond.
Is a student required to retake a test if he or she does not meet the competency score on either test?
Yes. If a student does not meet the competency score on the Algebra I and/or English language arts II test, the school must offer remedial support and student must retake the test at least once before pursuing other competency options for graduation purposes. [ORC 3313.618(B)(1)]
May students use previous scores to meet the competency scores requirement? For example, if a student took the Algebra I or Integrated Math I test in spring 2019 and did not meet the proficient level, but the score meets the competency score, can that competency score be used for graduation?
Yes, students may use scores from tests previously taken to meet the competency scores under the new graduation requirements.
If a student takes the Algebra I or English language arts II test in middle school and earns a competency score, does the student need to retake the test in high school?
No, state law [ORC 3301.0711(B)(11)(c)] specifies that students who take the Algebra I or English language arts II test in middle school and earn the designated competency score cannot be required to retake the test in high school to meet graduation requirements. These students can use the competency score earned in middle school to apply to demonstrating competency for their diploma.
Are schools required to provide remediation to students who fail to attain competency scores?
Yes, state law [ORC 3313.618(B)(1)] requires districts to offer remedial support to any student who fails to attain competency scores on one or both tests. These remedial supports are locally defined.
Numerous assessment and instructional resources are available on the Department’s website including the following:
How were competency scores determined?
State law [ORC 3301.0712(B)(10)] required the Ohio Department of Education, in consultation with the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, to set competency scores for the Algebra I and English language arts II tests. The Department researched jobs that require only a high school diploma and talked to hiring managers to determine the levels of mathematics and English skills that hires need to be successful.
What is the difference between the competency score and proficiency score?
A score of proficient (700) or higher on Ohio’s State Tests indicates the student has demonstrated an appropriate command of the state standards for that subject and/or grade level. Although the Department was not required by statute to define competency, which is not a formally defined performance level, generally a score of competent means the student has a sufficient understanding of the subject such that he or she can perform or learn most of the required subject skills in a job that generally requires only a high school diploma.
If a district offers Integrated Math I instead of Algebra I, is the competency score the same on the Integrated Math I test?
ORC 3301.0712(B)(7)(c) authorizes the Integrated Math I test in lieu of the Algebra I end-of-course test for graduation purposes. The competency score for the Integrated Math I test is the same at 684.
Are there competency scores for the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD)? Yes, state law [ORC 3301.0711(C), 3313.61(L)(2)] requires competency scores for the Algebra I and English language arts II end-of-course tests and for the Math and ELA sections of the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant cognitive disabilities. The required score on the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities is a score of Basic for both the math and English language arts tests.
Will the Online Reporting System (ORS) or downloadable datafile include the designation of performance level of competent? Will there be a separate report showing students who have met competency?
The timing of determining the competency scores precludes inclusion of the achievement of competency scores in the ORS and/or other reporting at this point. The Department is investigating potential ways of reporting these scores in the future.
Will competency scores be used for accountability on the Ohio School Report Cards?
No, the competency scores are used for graduation requirements only. The Ohio School Report Cards and Ohio’s accountability system use the five previously established performance levels in achievement calculations on the report card. For more information on those calculations, visit the Report Card Resources webpage.
The graduation rate on the Ohio School Report Cards is calculated using those students who meet graduation requirements — taking into account the applicable graduation requirements for each cohort of students.
Last Modified: 2/7/2023 10:01:25 PM