Education

Survey costs stymie collection of more community input on BG School buildings

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Bowling Green City School officials want to know what local residents think about the various building plan options, but they don’t want to spend a fortune collecting those opinions. The costs submitted by surveying firms ranged from $12,500 to $24,000. “I think that’s a lot of money to sample the population,” Superintendent Francis Scruci said Tuesday during the board of education meeting. “That’s a big chunk of change,” for gathering the opinions of approximately 300 people, he said. The school district is facing the decision of building one new facility for all the elementaries, or remodeling the elementary schools, plus making some major renovations at the high school. Scruci tried to take the public’s pulse about the options with a series of public meetings held at each of the school buildings. But it seemed that a lot of the same people showed up for most of the meetings. “I feel strongly that we don’t have enough community input right now,” to make a decision, said school board member Jill Carr. Scruci agreed that he would like more input, but the professional survey prices have gone up substantially since many people no longer have landlines, and it is more costly to access people’s cell phones. The board discussed various options, such as putting a survey on the district’s website, or possibly using the city’s all-call system to notify local residents. But the difficulty is still how to reach farm families in the district, retirees, and people without children – many who may not be aware of the building discussions. Board member Bill Clifford shared Carr’s concerns. “We don’t have a lot of data,” he said. And the estimates from the professional survey firms are “hard for me to swallow.” However, “We know our facilities are in need,” and delays in getting public input means the district “keeps on spinning our wheels,” Clifford said. Scruci said he would work on coming up with some type of survey and bring it back to the board next month. Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the school board took action to put a 0.5 percent income tax renewal on the ballot in May. The tax duration would be five years. Scruci also said he is looking for some dates to hold a public meeting on…


Bobcat musicians selected for honor bands

From BOWLING GREEN BOBCAT  BANDS Seven Bowling Green Middle School band members  were selected to perform in the Ohio Music Education Association District One Middle School Honor Band 2017.  They include:  Culley Foos (bassoon), Sasha Zengel (Clarinet), Cyrus Koogan (Horn), Simon Metzger (Percussion), James Eddington (Trombone), Colin Crawford (Trumpet), and Nolan Miller (Trumpet).  Selected as first chair players for their sections were Culley Foos, Simon Metzger, James Eddington, and Colin Crawford.   These students prepared and recorded audition materials and were chosen among students from six counties in northwest Ohio.   Dr. Lisa Martin, currently a member of the BGSU music faculty, will be rehearsing and conducting the Middle School Honors Band.     The following students from the Bowling Green High School Bands were selected for the OMEA High School Honor Band 2017:  Saralynn George (flute), Megan Eddington (clarinet), Elana Cable (alto saxophone), Allan Landgraf (bari saxophone), Joseph Kalmar (horn), Frances Zengel (percussion), Joey Craig (percussion).  In addition, Saralynn George and Joey Craig were selected as first chair players.     These students will represent Bowling Green at the Ohio Music Educators Association Honors Festival on Sunday, February 12th at the Stranahan theater in Toledo.  The middle school concert will begin at 2:30pm and the high school concert will begin at7:00pm.  Both concerts are free and open to the public. Nine students from Bowling Green high school were selected to perform in the BGSU Honors Bands on January 18th, 19th, and 20th.  They include Natalie Avery (alto saxophone), Kerica Bucks (trombone), Elana Cable (alto saxophone), Joey Craig (percussion), Saralynn George (flute), Alex Munson (trumpet), Mary Shilling (flute), Skye Sloane (percussion), and Frances Zengel (percussion).  They will be performing with students throughout the state of Ohio.  


LEGO teams face off in robot tourney at BGSU

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University will host a FIRST LEGO League event Saturday, Jan. 14 on the second floor of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Guided by adult coaches, FIRST LEGO League teams research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling or energy and are challenged to develop a solution. They must also design, build and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS technology, then compete on a tabletop playing field. This event, organized by the Sylvania STEM Center, northwest Ohio’s regional gathering space for STEM education and exploration, consists of teams of students in grades four through eight. This year’s challenge is Animal Allies and teams have been tasked to identify a problem when people and animals interact and design a solution that makes the interaction better for animals, people or both. This tournament is the second-level competition for 23 teams from northwest Ohio. Each of these teams earned their place in the tournament by securing top spots at regional tournaments. The top nine teams will advance to the state championship in Dayton in February. FIRST LEGO League allows kids to combine science, technology, engineering and math concepts with imagination to solve a problem. During the process, they also develop critical thinking and team-building skills. The BGSU College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering is supporting the event by paying for the venue and volunteering. To date, more than 255,000 kids have participated in 1,464 FIRST LEGO League events in 88 countries. WHAT: Second-level FIRST LEGO League competition WHO: 23 fourth- through eighth-grade teams from northwest Ohio WHEN: noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14; an opening ceremony parade begins at noonin the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union WHERE: BGSU Bowen-Thompson Student Union


WGTE launching new children’s service

Submitted WGTE PUBLIC MEDIA WGTE Public Media announced that it will launch a new, free localized 24/7 children’s service on Jan. 16.  The free services include a new TV channel and live stream on digital platforms. The effort is WGTE’s latest initiative to support early learning in the community. WGTE will broadcast PBS KIDS shows 24 hours a day on the television channel previously called WGTE Family. WGTE will also offer a live stream, making it easy for Toledo-area children to watch their favorite series during primetime and other after-school hours when viewing among families is high. Viewers will be able to watch the WGTE-branded live stream through pbskids.org and on the PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of mobile devices and tablets. The live stream complements on-demand clips and full episodes, which will continue to be available for free on the PBS KIDS Video App and streaming via pbskids.org. Following its initial launch, the localized live stream experience will expand to offer an integrated games feature, enabling children to toggle between a PBS KIDS show and an activity that extends learning – all in one seamless digital experience. The live stream and games feature is grounded in research demonstrating that measurable gains in learning are achieved when children engage with PBS KIDS content on multiple platforms. The games will align with the learning goals of each TV series, deepening children’s involvement and supporting learning. “WGTE Public Media has been an integral part of the community for 63 years, delivering content and services that parents trust and that move the needle in early learning,” said Marlon Kiser, President and CEO of WGTE Public Media “We are excited to build on the work we do every day for northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan’s families by adding these new 24/7 services to our offerings, ensuring that our proven educational content is accessible anytime and anywhere to all kids – especially those who need it the most.” PBS stations reach more kids aged 2-5, more moms with children under 6 years old and more children from low-income families than any other kids TV network. With its new 24/7 channel and digital offerings, WGTE will build on this reach and impact.  


Top scientists engage youngsters in Kids’ Tech University at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Paul Morris knows that Kids’ Tech University presented at Bowling Green State University has a lot going for it. Each of the four weeks features an esteemed scientist who knows how to talk to children age 9 to 12 about their research. And then the kids have carefully designed activities related to the science that allow students to do the work of science themselves. Then there’s Morris’ hair. He sports a frizzy mop of white hair. Morris said he’s gotten enough comments on it, he’s decided to stop cutting his hair. “I look the part.” It’s a silly way to get across a key element of the program. “The idea that children are being directed by a real scientist that’s part of the excitement we want to capture.” Registration is now underway for the program that runs four Saturdays throughout the semester starting Feb. 11 and continuing Feb. 25, March 18, and April 8. Each starts at 10 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m. or so. Registration is $90. Visit http://kidstechuniversity-bgsu.vbi.vt.edu/. The mission is to get children excited about science, technology, engineering and math before they get into middle school. The Feb. 11 session will feature Dr. Jennifer M. DeBruyn, who works at the Body Farm in Tennessee, a lab which studies decomposition of human bodies. DeBruyn is a microbiologist who studies how all manner of matter decomposes. Her talk is: “Life after Death: Exploring the decomposer organisms that recycle corpses back to soil.” In the afternoon, Morris said, students will do an array of experiments involved in forensics, including fingerprinting and DNA analysis with the assistance of BGSU faculty and students. “The strategy is to enable them to meet and interact with scientists who talk about what they do, and as a second component we give them a variety of hands-on activities that we run that are related to speaker’s talk.” Morris said he looks for activities “that I think the children would expect to do at a university.” That includes using lab equipment. “We do a lot of microscope work.” As far as the speakers are concerned, he has an easy measure of their effectiveness: “To what extent is the speaker interrupted with questions, and how long does the speaker section extend with questions? If no questions,…


BG Schools facing big issues in 2017 – buildings, levy, drug testing, contract talks

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Board of Education met to reorganize this morning for a new year heavy with weighty issues. Filling their plate are school building issues, the proposed income tax renewal, contract negotiations, possible drug testing, and curriculum questions. “There are a lot of big decisions,” Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci said Tuesday morning. The board elected officers for the new year, with Ellen Scholl being named president and Jill Carr being named vice president. The other board members are Bill Clifford, Ginny Stewart and Paul Walker. One of the biggest issues facing the school board is a decision on whether to build a new consolidated elementary building to the north of the middle and high schools, or renovate the existing elementaries. “We need to make a decision on where we’re going with facilities,” Scruci said. A series of community meetings have been held to explain the options and gather public input. However, attendance has been limited, and the school board and superintendent want more citizen involvement. “I need more community input,” before making a decision, Carr said. Scruci has gotten one estimate from a professional survey firm, but the price was higher than he had expected at $12,500. The firm informed him that the use of cell phones and lack of landlines makes contacting people much more difficult and costly. Scruci said he would seek estimates from other survey firms. “We’re trying to get a better pulse on the community,” the superintendent said. The school board will also hear from at least two more companies offering drug testing of students. The board heard from one company last year, but Scruci said other options are available that screen for more drugs. The board decided that drug testing should be one of the topics discussed at the monthly school board meetings. Another topic to be discussed is social media, perhaps at the January board meeting. According to Scruci, safety tips are being given to school staff after some social media accounts have been hacked. Curriculum will also be a hot topic this year, with the district focusing on trying to improve state testing scores. “We want to ensure our curriculum is helping students achieve what they want to,” Walker said. And the board continues to hope for changes in…


Some of the stories that clicked for BG Indy in 2016

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News If you ask those of us involved with BG Independent News, the biggest news of 2016 was that we got this enterprise started and weathered our first year. This has been a great venture that has both challenged and rewarded us, if not enriched us. We pride ourselves on writing the best stories about Bowling Green, its immediate surroundings and area arts and entertainment scene. We’ve been heartened by the fact that we’ve had close to 160,000 users and 600,000 page views since the website was launched in late January. For that Jan McLaughlin and I thank you, our readers. It’s been a great ride. As we start a new year, we thought we’d go back and see just what stories drew the most traffic in the previous one. I decided on a top 30 of the more than 1,700 stories we’ve published. That includes the bylined stories that make up the heart of BG Independent News, but also Community Voices, Opinion, Obituaries and Newsbreak (though not the event listings that get lumped into What’s Happening in Your Community). (See the list of links at the end of the story.) The story that drew the most traffic was “The day the pizza died,” which is by neither of the principle writers. The rumors of Myles Pizza closing had been in the air for well over a year. When Chip Myles finally called it quits, I was headed out of town for a funeral, so Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel, from Zibbel Media and an accomplished writer, stepped in and wrote her elegy to the beloved local pizza place. While this may seem ironic that our top story was written by neither McLaughlin nor Dupont, I don’t see it that way. Zibbel Media, operated by John Roberts-Zibbel and Roberts-Zibbel, is as much responsible for launching and maintaining the BG Independent enterprise as McLaughlin and Dupont, and I’m happy to have this recognition of that contribution. Some people were celebrating the holidays by pulling their last Myles pizza out of the freezer. The opening of Pizza Pub 516 in the location with a clear intent to update the place while maintaining much of the Myles character was also of interest, placing 18th on the list. Roberts-Zibbel also wrote another top 30 story, “Sign of…


Screenwriter plants seeds for stories in students

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Screenwriter Karen Leigh Hopkins planted some seeds in a Crim fourth grade class Wednesday. Then she stood back and watched them grow like crazy. She teased the students with ideas swirling in her head for her next script. There’s the street dogs versus the wealthy dogs – a type of doggie Downton Abbey. There’s the entomologist forced to give up the study of bugs to become an exterminator. “I’ve got a bazillion other ideas I could write,” she said, stretching her arms out wide. They are jotted down anywhere possible. Backs of notebooks, store receipts. But on Wednesday, Hopkins was looking for ideas from the Crim fourth graders – feeding their imaginations then showering the seeds with praise as they blossomed before her eyes. Hopkins is all about the “what ifs.” What if Santa found out he was adopted and his other family was Jewish? What if you were on a ride at Cedar Point and it got stuck, leaving you stranded in a parallel universe? That’s all she needed to say to open the flood gate of ideas. Hopkins’ first idea was a pirate ride gone wrong. But she wanted something fresher, more creative.  Hands shot up, and she called on students bursting with ideas. “Polka dots,” she said, pointing to the girl dressed in dots. “Santa hat,” “red dress,” she said calling on students and reacting to each plot as the next great blockbuster. “Instead of pirates, there could be cats,” one student offered. “You guys blow my mind,” Hopkins said to the room full of raised hands. The ride got stuck in its tracks in worlds of monsters, zombies, dinosaurs, former presidents. “You guys, these are really good ideas,” she said, her eyes growing wider with each suggestion. “I like the way you think.” Outer space, Olympics, video games, a black hole. “Holy moly,” Hopkins said. “We may have to talk about these.” As the ideas flowed, Hopkins frantically got a piece of paper and asked a student to record the possible movies in the making. “Pleeeeeeease write,” she begged the student. The imaginations were gushing. What about robots? A magician with a magic mirror? “You just gave me goosebumps,” Hopkins said, rubbing her arms. One student offered the first line spoken in the…


BG Schools takes step to renew income tax in May

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Board of Education took the first step Tuesday toward putting an income tax renewal on the May 2017 ballot. The millage will remain at 0.5 percent, but the duration of the income tax is still unknown. District Treasurer Rhonda Melchi said that timing will be known when the school board takes the next step in January to put the tax issue on the ballot. The income tax generates $3.34 million annually. The income tax for the district began in January of 1993 and has been renewed every five years since. It makes up 11 percent of the district’s general fund revenue. Earlier this fall, when talking about the income tax renewal, Melchi said the board will have to decide whether to stick with a five-year tax or ask for a continuing tax. Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Superintendent Francis Scruci reported on the success of the “Adopt-a-Door” program, asking for $200 donations to put new security looks on each door in the district. So far, 135 doors have been “adopted” and another 15 have been pledged. That leaves 190 doors still available for donors. The security systems will be installed on the doors by the end of January, Scruci said. “It’s been amazing, to see the community support,” he said. Also at the meeting, high school science teacher Josh Iler gave a presentation on the efforts to transform the school courtyard and land lab into usable learning spaces. The students are learning about plants, wildlife, hard work and patience, he said. “It’s a lot more work than you might imagine,” Iler said. The courtyard has been landscaped and a koi pond has been added. Students use the area for reading, eating lunch and relaxing. Trails are being cut and mulched in the land lab, located to the east of the high school. Both areas have received many donations from local businesses and former students. “I’m reaching out in different ways and getting them outdoors,” Iler said, noting the student pride in the projects. “The pride is the big thing.” In other business: The retirement of middle school art teacher Kim Sockman was announced, effective at the end of the school year. Middle School Principal Eric Radabaugh said Sockman is “very caring, compassionate. She’s one of those…


Middle school musicians in BGSU Honors Band

Submitted by KAREN PENDLETON Seventeen Bowling Green Middle School students were selected to participate in the Bowling Green State University Honors Band Clinic held at BGSU on November 10th. The BGMS students had the privilege of performing under guest conductors Damien Crutcher, Chief Executive Officer of Crescendo Detroit: and Joseph Dobos, Conductor of Wayne State University Concert Band. The students selected to participate were Dyllan Atkin, Matthew Bowlus, Lucy Busselle, Samantha Codding Colin Crawford, Brynn Depinet, Sarah Elder, Culley Foos, Gianna Hemming, Kelsey Kerr, Heather Knowlton, Cyrus Koogan, Simon Metzger, Nolan Miller, Joe Porter, Jordan Schuman and Eli Smith. Congratulations on their great performances! Bobcat Middle School band performs their Holiday Concert on Dec. 6 at the Performance Arts Center and Bowling Green High School at 7 p.m.


‘Dear Santa’ makes local Christmas dreams come true

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Some Santas defy the storybook image of a white-bearded man dressed in red and conveyed by reindeer. Here in Bowling Green, the Santas are more likely to wear jeans and pack gifts in pickup trucks. For the eighth year, the Dear Santa Society in Bowling Green will do its best to answer the Christmas wishes of about 40 families. The organization, founded by Jim and Dee Szalejko, goes well beyond buying teddy bears and candy canes. Through the generosity of the community, the Dear Santa program has given such gifts as a violin and music lessons to a child whose greatest wish was to learn how to play, ballet lessons for a child who dreamed of dancing, and baseball registration fees for a child who longed to play ball. One year, the local Santas delivered bicycles to an entire family. Another year, the program received a special plea from a local child, whose family was on the verge of being evicted after missing two months’ rent. “All I want for Christmas is to be able to stay home,” the child wrote. So the Dear Santa program paid the overdue rent. This year, the group plans to help a young swimmer whose family can’t afford the program fees, and help pay the way to Disney World for a marching band member whose family can’t swing the costs. “It’s unbelievable, the need in the city,” said Dee Szalejko as she prepared for another year as the local Kris Kringle. The Dear Santa program actually had its start 28 years ago in Philadelphia, when Jim Szalejko asked one of the post offices in the city to send him a letter written by a child to Santa Claus. The post office faxed him eight letters. “I couldn’t decide,” Jim said. And the Dear Santa Society had its soft opening. “I had no intention of forming anything.” He just asked some friends and family to help him fill the requests. But when the next Christmas rolled around, the Santa helpers from the year before wanted to repeat the joy. And from there it snowballed. “I remember every delivery,” Jim Szalejko said, especially in the most downtrodden neighborhoods of Philly. The toughest request came from a little girl whose dad had recently died….


Former BGSU chief talks about OSU attack response

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Monica Moll, formerly the police chief at BGSU, was on the job about a month at Ohio State University when her new campus came under attack. On Monday, a man plowed his car into a group of people and then pulled out a knife and charged at victims. Eleven people were hospitalized after the attack. Within a couple minutes, the attacker, student Abdul Razak Ali Artan, had been shot and killed by OSU Police Officer Alan Horujko. The incident was resolved in about the best possible manner, said Moll, now the director of public safety at OSU. “We had an officer in the right place at the right time,” she said on Thursday. Horujko had been responding to a report of a possible gas leak in the area of the attack. The officer credited his training for his quick response. “It all went according to planning,” Moll said. The university’s active shooter training and campus alert system are being credited for helping the community maintain order while the scene was secured. The campus is one of the largest in the U.S., with nearly 60,000 registered students. Law enforcement from the region responded, with officers arriving from Columbus police and fire departments, Ohio State Patrol, ATF, FBI, Homeland Security, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, and other nearby campuses. OSU Police Chief Craig Stone said his officers train annually to handle active shooters, on defensive tactics and firearms. “The good news is, they have a well-oiled machine down here,” Moll said. The dispatch center was bombarded with reports and questions as the incident unfolded. “They were flooded with calls,” she said. “The dispatchers did an excellent job.” Stone said students and staff have been urged to report problems. “We encouraged people to call us,” he said. That vigilance is even more heightened on campus now. “If you see something, say something.” It wasn’t just the emergency responders whose training kicked in, but also students and faculty who had been trained for a violent incident. The campus offers a training video called “Surviving an Active Shooter.” The training is not mandated for students, faculty or staff, but the video has logged more than 350,000 views. “It really applies to any emergency,” Moll said. A campus alert sent out moments after the…


Old one-room school gets new home on the farm

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The historic one-room Zimmerman School taught a lesson in patience Wednesday. In two hours, the school had crawled almost one-third of a mile across a corn stubble field to its new home. The Wood County Park District decided to move the 1892 brick school from its home at the corner of Carter and Nelson roads to the site of the Carter Historic Farm one country block to the north. The move was done across farm field rather than down the road. “We don’t have to worry about wires or the traffic,” explained Neil Munger, director of the park district. But there was nothing quick about moving the 210-ton building. As the school inched its way across the field, a skid steer kept circling it to move steel plates from the back to the front of the building so the tires did not sink into the soil. The person controlling the process sat next to the school and moved a joystick to direct the route. The destination was a spot dug out in the field behind the Carter Farm, with the footer already there waiting. Once in place, Munger said the final tuck pointing and repair work will be completed. “It will be better than ever,” he said. The one-room school will be an easy trek from the farm, so kids visiting can walk to school, “just like Sally used to,” Munger said. The building was moved by Wolfe Building Movers, of Indiana. Officials from company took one look at the structure, and said “absolutely, we’ve moved bigger things than this,” Munger said. Bids for moving the one-room school and for making repairs at its current location helped with the decision to move. The total cost for moving the structure was estimated at $73,950. Coupled with additional project costs like moving restrooms, sidewalk construction and demolishing the old foundation, the cost was set at $88,590. The cost for leaving it at the corner of Nelson and Carter roads was estimated at $118,510. That cost included replacing the old foundation, putting in a wider culvert, adding more parking and moving restrooms. There was no space at the Zimmerman site for public parking when classes visited the school, making it difficult to utilize the school for public programming.  When students…


Gardner says state testing changes are likely

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   State legislators have been listening to school officials concerned about too much testing for students with too little input from educators. On Tuesday evening, State Senator Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, said there is an “excellent chance” that school testing requirements will be changed. “I think there is substantial agreement” that changes are needed, he said when contacted by phone. That should be good news to the more than 300 school superintendents and board members who  rallied in Columbus Tuesday to ask state legislators to rework the graduation requirements in Ohio. Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci joined the “historic” rally Tuesday morning at the Statehouse. About half of the superintendents in Ohio took part in the rally to raise the issues of over-testing of students, inaccuracies of district “report cards” from the state, and graduation requirements. “Decisions continue to be made without the input of those on the ground and in the classrooms,” Scruci at the Bowling Green Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening after he returned from Columbus. Scruci said it was “disappointing” that no legislators attended the rally. “I did not see one legislator who felt compelled to come out to see what going on.” But it appears legislators have been listening. Gardner, who was just named Senate Majority Leader on Tuesday, said he has been meeting with the Senate Education Committee chairman and state school superintendent on changing the testing requirements for graduation. Gardner said some of the testing has been mandated by the federal government. However, the new Every Student Succeed Act grants states more flexibility, he said. “We want to grant more flexibility to local school districts,” he added. Over the next six months, Gardner said he expects meetings to be held with school superintendents, teachers, curriculum directors and school board members. “All will be at the table,” he said. That is exactly what school officials have been asking for – fewer tests and more input. The concern is that the latest testing standards are expected to keep many students from graduating. The standards place too much emphasis on test taking – and not enough on daily learning, educators have said. “There needs to be some reform,” Scruci said, calling upon the state to take action. “Do the right thing for kids.” Starting…


Superintendents rally against state testing

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci joined a rally this morning against too much testing for students with too little input from educators. More than 300 school superintendents and board members joined forces in Columbus to ask state legislators to rework the graduation requirements in Ohio. “This is one of the first times superintendents have organized together to speak out,” Scruci said after the rally that was held during the annual meeting of the Ohio School Board Association. Also attending from Bowling Green was board of education member Bill Clifford. “It was a great opportunity for solidarity,” Scruci said. The concern is that the latest testing standards are expected to keep many students from graduating. The standards place too much emphasis on test taking – and not enough on daily learning, educators have said. “There needs to be some reform,” Scruci said. Educators are demanding that they be involved in the decision-making process for testing requirements. “We want the legislature to hear us and involve us in the decision-making,” Scruci said. Educators deserve to be part of a serious dialogue, he said. “We are working with kids every day.” Starting next year, students no longer will be required to pass the Ohio Graduation Test to receive a diploma. Instead, they will have to meet one of three options: earn 18 out of a possible 35 points on seven end-of-course exams taken during high school; get a “remediation-free” score on a college entrance exam; or obtain an industry credential indicating they are ready for a job. Across the state, school district officials have said that 20 to 50 percent of their students have failed the exams, meaning they are at risk of not graduating. Scruci said that most Bowling Green students would not be at risk of failing, but the system is still very wrong. “There still needs to be reform,” he said. Though he didn’t see any legislators at the rally, Scruci is hoping they get the message. He is hopeful that State Senator Randy Gardner and State Rep. Theresa Gavarone, both R-Bowling Green, were listening. “She said that she supported public education,” Scruci said of newly-elected Gavarone. “She’s going to have to get involved right away.”