We received the results of our sophomores' attempt at the Ohio Graduation Test today. We had some mixed results but my students did very well. Out of the 52 sophomores in my classes, all passed. Three students were "proficient", passing at the lowest level. One missed the "accelerated" level by one point. The rest or 49, passed at either the "accelerated" or "advanced" levels. That's over 94% at the two highest levels.
It has always been my contention that students will achieve at a high level if they are expected to do that. We expect them to achieve and they do. Too often schools let students off too easy. They will give you what you ask of them. We should demand more of them.
Lest you think our school is some cushy suburban mostly white school, we have approximately 10% African-American, along with another 15% or so other mixed ethnicity, with about 50% of the students on free or reduced lunches.
They achieve because they are expected to.