OSPI Testifies on Bill to Streamline High School Graduation Requirements
OLYMPIA — January 27, 2016 — Staff from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) yesterday testified before the House Education Committee about House Bill 2556 (HB 2556), a bill the state superintendent requested, which streamlines high school graduation requirements and saves the state nearly $15 million a year.
To ensure high school diplomas are meaningful, the state has for several years required students pass high school assessments, or state-approved alternatives, to be eligible to graduate.
In recent years the state has increased academic expectations of students by adopting more difficult learning standards and assessments. The State Board of Education has increased the number of credits high school students must earn to be eligible to graduate.
“Graduating from high school is harder than it used to be,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “We expect a lot from these kids.”
“Instead of spending so much time and money on testing, we need to focus our energy on high-quality 12th-grade classes that make sure students learn the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century.”
Our state’s new assessments were designed to measure college and career readiness—not whether or not students have met the minimum bar for a diploma. Results from these tests, taken by 11th graders, should serve as an indicator of what kind of instruction students need during their senior year. Instead of re-testing and providing costly alternatives, this is the most meaningful way to prepare students for college and career.
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 provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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