April 18, 2013 in City

Higher percentage of seniors headed toward graduation

Donna Gordon Blankinship Associated Press
 

SEATTLE – About 4,000 Washington high school seniors got some good news this week. They’ve joined the ranks of students who have passed all their required state graduation tests or an approved alternative.

The percentage of the class of 2013 who have met at least the testing part of their requirements for graduation is now up to 83.7 percent, state education officials said.

To graduate from high school this year, Washington students must pass tests in reading, writing and math. They also need to meet state and local credit requirements, complete a senior project and write a plan for what they want to do after high school.

Nearly 12,000 seniors still have tests to pass before they can earn a diploma. Many have already taken make-up exams and are waiting for the results to come later this spring.

The class of 2013 is the first expected to pass either an algebra or geometry test to graduate, although high school students have been taking statewide math exams for years. The class of 2015 will be required to pass both an algebra and geometry test to graduate.

About 6,500 students in the class of 2013 have not fulfilled the math testing requirement. Nearly 5,800 of them also need to pass a writing or reading test, or both.

Those who have passed the math test but still need reading and writing number about 3,700.

The new graduation numbers released by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction this week reflect results from a testing alternative called the Collection of Evidence, which is a portfolio-based review of student work in reading, writing or math.

Washington high school students are given multiple chances to meet their graduation testing requirements. Some students are still waiting to hear how they did on make-up exams given in January, February and March. Those results are expected in late May, said OSPI spokesman Nathan Olson.

They also will have another chance to turn in a Collection of Evidence late in the spring, or to revise the portfolio they already turned in if their score was within a few points of passing.

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