February 28, 2005
Ohio ahead of national average in educational progress
By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service
WASHINGTON ó Ohio has done a little better than the nation as a whole in making educational progress in the past decade, judging by comparisons released at a governorsí education summit over the weekend.
Though many at the two-day education meeting stressed the need to improve high school education, the statistics show improvement in many areas in Ohio and other states.
Eighth-grade math achievement climbed in both Ohio and the nation between 1992 and 2003, according to the figures compiled by Achieve Inc., a nonprofit group dedicated to raising school standards and accountability.
In Ohio, 30 percent of eighth-graders were at or above proficiency in the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2003, up from 18 percent in 1992. Nationally, math proficiency grew to include 27 percent of students in 2003, up from 20 percent in 1992.
The figures show an increase in students taking trigonometry or pre-calculus in high school, an indication of preparation for higher education or the workplace.
The proportion of Ohio students taking the demanding math regimen rose to 45 percent in 2002 from 35 percent in 1992. Nationally, 41 percent of students tackled the subject in 2002, up from 29 percent in 1992.
More students are making it through at least four years of college.
In Ohio, 26 percent earned a bachelorís degree or higher in 2000, compared to 20 percent in 1990. Across the nation, the percentage rose to 28 percent in 2000 from 23 percent in 1990.
Ohio made progress in reducing dropout rates while the nation lost ground, the statistics indicate.
The high school graduation rate in Ohio rose to 78 percent in 2002 from 75 percent in 1992. But in the nation as a whole, 71 percent earned a diploma in 2002, down from 73 percent in 1992.