With the College and Career Ready Diploma, more Washington students will graduate high school prepared for both college and career. In recent studies, it was found that less than half of graduating seniors meet the basic requirements for admission into a four-year state university.
To implement the updated graduation requirements, the State Board of Education drafted proposed rules. After a public comment period, public forum in Olympia on June 6, and a public hearing in Spokane on July 9, the State Board of Education approved rules for implementation.
The ESN Coalition submitted a letter to the State Board detailing their concerns about the rules. In sum, ESN advocated for:
- Academic Rigor: The College and Career Ready Diploma should be meaningful. The requirements for the College and Career Ready Diploma should not be watered down.
- Parent Engagement: Parents should be involved in their child's middle and high school education every step of the way. Parental involvement is important to student success, and it should be encouraged and strengthened.
Representatives from ESN Coalition members also attended the public hearing in Olympia to testify, including Chris Barron from Partnership for Learning, Parasa Chanramy from Stand for Children Washington, Sarah Butcher from the Bellevue Special Needs PTA, and several staff from the League of Education Voters: Amy Liu, Kelly Munn, and Micaela Razo. The League of Education Voters also arranged for parents, students, and community members to testify.
The State Board of Education took several steps to support all kids in Washington and approved three requests made by the ESN Coalition:
- What we asked for: Maintain the language in the draft rules that restricts credits that may be waived to electives and non-core academic courses.
What the State Board approved: The rules language was maintained. Courses that can be waived are limited to non-core academic courses. (1 credit of art, 2 credits of personalized pathway (which can include world language), 4 elective credits).
- What we asked for: Require parent signoff on the third year of math and science.
What the State Board approved: The State Board voted to clarify in the rules that parent/guardian takes precedence over school staff in selecting third year of math and science.
- What we asked for: Ensure that parents with limited English proficiency can access the information.
What the State Board approved: The State Board voted that a request to the parent/guardian for approval for a specific course should be made in predominant language of the parent/guardian who predominantly speak a language other than English, to the extent that is feasible.
The League of Education Voters documented the day on their blog. Please visit their website for the entire story.