A Guide for Students and Families - High school graduation requirements
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Washington State Public Education:
A Guide for Students and Families

High school graduation requirements

High school students are required to pass a state assessment in reading and writing in order to graduate. Currently, students in the classes of 2011 and 2012 do not have to pass a math exam to graduate. But those who do not pass must earn two math credits after 10th grade. Students get several chances to take the test, and if they don't pass, can take alternatives to show their basic skills. One way is to assemble a portfolio, or collection of evidence, of their classroom work that demonstrates their skills and knowledge.

Meeting the academic standards required for high school graduation can be difficult for students who aren't fluent in English. The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires states to test all students. Washington's legislature is trying to figure out how to help these students more. The state now translates the tests into six languages, but students then must answer in English.

In addition to meeting standard in reading and writing, high school students in the classes of 2011 and 2012 must also complete the required number of credits, make a plan for after graduation and create a "senior project" that shows how they have learned to use their skills in the real world. The State Board of Education establishes these requirements.

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