By Anonymous
Posted Jun 02, 2010 @ 12:00 PM

The Stark Education Partnership and its chairman, retired Judge W. Don Reader, are seeing progress in an important crusade: The state is moving closer to dumping the Ohio Graduation Test.

Whether the other half of their quest — replacing the test with the ACT — will succeed isn’t known, but the college-entrance exam is getting serious scrutiny for this purpose. It’s about time.

Reader explained the advantages of using the ACT as a graduation test in a 2006 column in The Rep:

“The ACT test indicates not only the ability to graduate from high school but also the ability to go on to college. It is accepted by colleges and universities throughout the country. The cost for a student to take the ACT is only $29. So what have the taxpayers of Ohio gained from the State Board of Education’s $107 million contract with Measurement Inc. (to design and grade the Ohio Graduation Test)? Answer; nothing.”

As long ago as 2005, Reader was testifying before the Legislature about the benefits of making the switch.

Gov. Ted Strickland came on board in 2009, promoting the idea in his State of the State address.

Later last year, the Legislature’s two-year budget required the state Department of Education to replace the test.

Now the state and the nonprofit Battelle for Kids are studying the ACT in pilot projects around Ohio.

By next summer, the Department of Education must begin to evaluate the options.

This timeline is painfully long to those of us on the outside looking in, but it is progress.

When decision time comes, the persistence of the Stark Education Partnership and Judge Reader should be singled out as pivotal.

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