OSPI NEWS RELEASE: REYKDAL: Legislature Opens up Multiple Pathways to Graduation for Students

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Legislature Opens up Multiple Pathways to Graduation for Students

Today, Governor Inslee signed House Bill 1599 into law. The legislation provides students with several options to demonstrate college and career readiness. Below is Superintendent Chris Reykdal's statement.

Superintendent Chris Reykdal

OLYMPIA—May 7, 2019—Until today, Washington state was one of the last in the nation to link state assessments to graduation. 

State assessments were intended to serve as a tool to measure how well the K–12 system was doing. The assessments were not intended to be used to measure the progress and performance of individual students, and they certainly were not intended to serve as a barrier to high school graduation.

Ensuring students have access to a graduation pathway that aligns with their postsecondary goals has been my top policy priority for the past two years. I began this work in 2017 when I requested House Bill 2224, which provided options for students who did not pass state assessments to demonstrate readiness to graduate in other ways.

With the passage of House Bill 1599, students will now have multiple pathways to demonstrate readiness to graduate, and each pathway must be aligned to the student’s High School and Beyond Plan.

The pathways include:

  • Completing a sequence of career and technical education (CTE) courses that lead to workforce entry, an approved apprenticeship, or postsecondary education.
  • Completing and qualifying for college credit in dual credit programs in English language arts (ELA) or math.
  • Meeting a certain score on the SAT or ACT.
  • Meeting or exceeding standard on state assessments in ELA or math.
  • Earning high school credit in a high school transition course in ELA or math.
  • Meeting standard on the armed services vocational aptitude battery.

The inclusion of a CTE pathway is vital to the success of our state’s economy and it will make a significant difference in the lives of our students. This pathway will allow students opportunities to select coursework that aligns with their postsecondary goals, with the intention of putting them on a path toward a career they love.

In addition to these important pathways, the bill also provides flexibility in meeting the 24 credits required for graduation. This option is available if students take courses aligned to their High School and Beyond Plan and postsecondary goals, and if they have met all other graduation requirements.

Finally, the bill extends the assessment waiver for students in the classes of 2019 and 2020 who did not pass the state assessment. Students in these cohorts will have the same options for graduation as students in the Class of 2018.

This is a significant step forward for our students and communities and required legislators on both sides of the political aisle, K–12 and higher education advocates, and business organizations to come together. I am thankful for the collaboration and hard work it took to pass this important legislation.

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