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Preliminary Results Show Reading and Writing Passing Rate Surpassing 90 Percent for Class of 2012

OLYMPIA (June 21, 2012)—In the fifth year of high school graduation requirements, more than 90 percent of Washington 12th grade students in the class of 2012 have passed the state reading and writing high school proficiency exams (HSPEs), or state-approved alternatives, prior to reaching their respective graduation ceremonies.

“Students across the state continue to perform well on reading and writing exams,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “Our teachers, students and families should be proud of their accomplishments.

“But I don’t want the students who dropped out of school to be forgotten. We need to do all we can to focus on getting them to come back to school and earn their diplomas.”

The chart below shows the results from all grades tested. Tenth grade is the first year students can attempt the reading and writing HSPEs. They may continue to attempt to pass the test, or choose a state-approved alternative, until they meet the requirement and receive a diploma at the end of 12th grade.

  Class of 2012
(12th graders)
Class of 2013
(11th graders)
Class of 2014
(10th graders)
Passed Reading 93.39% 88.46% 78.82%
Passed Writing 93.63% 89.48% 82.25%
Passed Both 92.05% 85.14% 73.35%

This spring marked the second time students took end-of-course exams in math (Algebra I or Geometry). Because students took those tests in the last three weeks of school, which can be as late as mid-June, those results will be returned in late August.

State testing graduation requirements
Students in the Class of 2012 must have passed reading and writing HSPEs, as well as one end-of-course (EOC) math exam—or have earned two credits of math after 10th grade.

The two-credits-of-math option will no longer be available after the Class of 2012 graduates. The Class of 2013 must pass one math EOC, or an approved state alternative, to be eligible for a diploma. The Class of 2015 will be the first to be required to pass five state exams: reading and writing HSPEs, two math EOCs and one biology EOC.

A student’s graduation requirements are determined according to the year he or she begins 9th grade. A student starting 9th grade in 2008 must fulfill the requirements of the Class of 2012, even if he or she does not graduate until after that year.

“Twelfth graders who didn’t graduate in June should be encouraged to stay in school and finish their education,” Dorn said. “Earning a high school diploma is a significant accomplishment.”

During summer months, schools will review individual student data to ensure maximum accuracy. Final results will be available this fall.

More information
For more information on state testing, visit Also, state testing and graduation resources are available at


About OSPI
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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Kristen Jaudon
Communications Specialist
(360) 725-6032

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 4/23/2013

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