Legislature adopts compromise on graduation requirements, preserves English and math assessments

The Legislature has passed HB 2224, the compromise on graduation requirements we wrote about earlier. The Seattle Times reports,

After a unanimous vote in the House on Tuesday, state senators also voted unanimously early Saturday to send compromise legislation that would overhaul high-school testing requirements to Gov. Jay Inslee.

…House Democrats this year preferred placing a permanent moratorium on those requirements, while Senate Republicans wanted to provide a temporary exemption — and only for a new biology test.

The compromise bill, if the governor signs it into law, would make high-school students complete language-arts and math exams as sophomores, starting in 2019. They now take those tests in 11th grade.

The legislation also would delay the requirement, until 2021, that students pass a biology exam. And it provides a fast-track appeals process for students in the graduating classes of 2014 through 2018 who did not pass either the language-arts or math exams.

In early June, we voiced support for maintaining standards, saying that the English and math requirements were among the measures, in the words of an editorial in the Columbian, “[marking] Washington as a state where a diploma is meaningful.” Preserving them, expanding alternatives for students to meet the standards, and delaying the science requirement until a new assessment aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards is developed marks this legislation as a reasonable compromise.