Dorn’s Science Legislation Signed Into Law
Olympia — June 7, 2011 — State Superintendent Randy Dorn’s proposed legislation to delay the science assessment graduation requirement was signed into law today. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed House Bill 1410, which delays the requirement until the class of 2015.
Students in the classes of 2013 and 2014 are no longer required to pass a state science exam to be eligible to graduate. The requirement to pass science begins with next year’s 9th graders.
House Bill 1410 allows for a smoother transition to an end-of-course biology exam from the single, comprehensive science HSPE. This is similar to the transition students saw this year to end-of-course exams in math.
“This change is all about fairness to our students and our teachers,” Dorn said. “This bill gives us time to place more focus on increased and quality science instruction in our state. If we are holding students accountable to a science graduation requirement, we need to teach it like we do reading, writing and math.
“The other important thing the bill does is that it saves us $20 million. In tough economic times, that money will help ease some of the cuts education has taken in this session.”
Dorn’s original bill requested a delay in the science graduation requirement until the class of 2017, giving the state time to add additional end-of-course exams in physical and integrated science and to examine the impending national science standards, which will be similar to the math and English language arts common core standards.
“I still don’t believe a two-year delay is enough time, but it’s a start,” Dorn said. “It gives us time to determine a next course of action. I’m concerned, just as the Legislature is, that an end-of-course biology exam will focus instruction just on biology. We want to encourage a well-rounded science education.”
The science HSPE will not be offered this summer because it is no longer a graduation requirement for the classes of 2013 and 2014. The next science testing opportunity will be in May 2012 with the end-of-course biology exam.
For more information on state testing, visit www.WAtesting.com. Also, state testing and graduation resources are available at www.k12.wa.us/Resources.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.
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