Students in Columbus City Schools are lagging well behind state averages in Ohio Graduation Test results, even though the district has improved its scores since last year.

Students in Columbus City Schools are lagging well behind state averages in Ohio Graduation Test results, even though the district has improved its scores since last year.

Ohio students must pass all five sections of the OGT to earn a high school diploma. They have seven opportunities to take and pass the test during their high school career. The first chance comes in the tenth grade.

Statewide, the percentage of students who passed all five sections of the test was 65 percent. In Columbus schools, 38.9 percent of students passed all five sections.

This year, 221 Columbus seniors did not graduate because they did not pass one or more sections of the OGT. A total of 3,114 CCS students took the test.

OGT test results are grouped into five rankings based on the scores achieved. They are: advanced, accelerated, proficient, basic and limited.

According to Ohio Department of Education, district sophomores were below the state average at the proficient or above level on all five OGT sections - reading, math, writing, science and social studies.

The students performed: 11.9 percent below average in reading; 21.5 percent below in math; 10.6 percent below in writing; 27.2 percent below in science and 12.1 percent below in social studies.

Nonetheless, the district saw improvements with students who were proficient or above in science and social studies when compared to its scores from last year. In fact, the district gained more than 12 percentage points in social studies, going from 53.8 percent of students hitting the proficient level or higher to 66.3 percent.

ODE's figures show statewide, 72.6 percent of sophomores were proficient or above in science and 78.4 percent in social studies.

"Certainly we aren't where we want to be, but I think the statistics play out that we are going in the right direction," said district spokesman Jeff Warner.

Other comparisons show the district saw about a 1 percent increase in science scores, from 44.9 percent to 45.4 percent, over last school year's results.

In addition, the district saw an improvement in the number of students who were proficient or above on all five tests. Data show 38.9 percent of sophomores passed all five sections of the test this year, compared to 37.3 percent last year.

Warner said one of the reasons the district isn't keeping up with statewide averages is because of its size.

dcross@thisweeknews.com