There is a whole lot of moving, shaking and contemplating going on in Washington’s K-12 community. In addition to the Basic Education Finance Task Force looking at our K-12 finance system, the State Board of Education is tackling math and science standards (along with OSPI), accountability and high school graduation requirements.
The Meaningful High School Diploma was the focus of a SBE work group meeting Tuesday. The SBE is considering increasing the minimum high school graduation requirements from 19 to 24 credits. Our current graduation requirements do not match entrance requirements to Washington’s four-year colleges and universities.
The proposed change to graduation requirements, called Core 24, ups credit requirements for core classes and certain electives.
|Core 24||HECB Min.
(1 in senior year)
(Algebra II, 1 in senior year beginning 2012)
(1 lab, 2 lab beginning 2012)
(HECB allows subs, UW/WWU require .5)
|Occupational Education (changes to Career & Technical Education)||1.0||3.0
(includes Culminating Project)
|Culminating Project/High School & Beyond Plan||0||0||0|
Within Core 24, the SBE wants to allow some flexibility for students with post-secondary plans not best served by Core 24’s default requirements. Some elective requirements can be met in middle/junior high school or through CTE courses.
Raising high school graduation requirements should help to better prepare students for post-secondary life, regardless of what their plans are. Too many (52 percent) of Washington’s recent high school graduates take remedial courses at community and technical colleges. Even those students who pursue options other than a two- or four-year college need the same skills as those who do, according to employers. Research shows that when the bar is set higher students actually perform better, regardless of their achievement level.
This is an exciting time for education in Washington. We have many decisions ahead of us, and the time for bold solutions is now. This is one of the reasons the League of Education Voters has invited Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust, to a town hall meeting to discuss some of these issues and solutions. Please join us in a conversation about the future of education in Washington.
Monday, April 28
7 – 8:30 p.m.
Seattle Public Library, Microsoft Auditorium
1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle