Proficiency Test Protest

Students refuses to take proficiency test; risks losing diploma

A senior at Federal Hocking High School in Athens County is refusing to take the ninth-grade proficiency test which he believes is biased against low-income and minority students. Since passage of the proficiency test is required for graduation, the protest by John Wood probably will cost him his high school diploma. Wood has the support of his father, who is principal at the high school near Stewart. Federal Hocking Superintendent Jim Patsey -- himself no fan of the proficiency testing -- praises Wood as an excellent student and says he wishes he could legally grant him a diploma. But two out-of-state private colleges already have accepted Wood, with or without a diploma. Wood won't be allowed to attend publicly funded colleges and universities in Ohio. In explaining his protest, Wood says such universal testing takes autonomy from local districts and is worthless as an indicator of later academic or workplace success.