The deal would exempt students — temporarily — from passing biology exams in order to earn a diploma. It also would provide alternative options for high school students who fail any of the three required tests.
State lawmakers announced a deal Thursday in a long-running debate over high-school graduation requirements.
The Washington Legislature has debated whether to place a permanent moratorium on those requirements, as House Democrats would prefer, or provide a temporary exemption — and only for the science test — as Senate Republicans have proposed.
Under the deal announced Thursday, high-school students would need to complete the language-arts and math exams as sophomores starting in 2019, according to a news release. High-school students currently take those tests in the 11th grade.
The deal also would delay the requirement that students pass a biology exam until 2021.
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Earlier this month, Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal had pitched a compromise in a yearslong debate over high-school graduation requirements.
He wanted students who don’t pass one of the exams to have alternative options, including completing a college-level course or earning a minimum score on college-entrance exams.
The new deal includes some of those alternative options, including passage of locally administered tests that Reykdal’s office must approve, according to the release.
Lawmakers also may approve a fast-track appeals process for students in the graduating classes of 2014 through 2018 who did not pass the language-arts or math exams, the release reads.
“It’s expected that both (legislative) chambers could take up the legislation next week,” the release adds. “While many high-school graduation ceremonies have already occurred, the plan would apply retroactively to the class of 2017.”
Information in this article, originally published June 22, 2017, was corrected June 22, 2017. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that high-school students would temporarily be exempt from passing state tests in order to graduate. The exemption only covers the biology exam.