Background: Education Reform and the Student Learning Plan
In 1993, Washington adopted educational reform with the passage of
Engrossed Substitute House Bill (ESHB) 1209. The new law identified four
major learning goals and set the stage for standards-based education across
the state. Lawmakers understood that students who graduate with a
standards-based K-12 education have the skills and knowledge to be college
and career ready. Student Learning Plans (SLP) evolved as one component in
this comprehensive program to reform education in Washington.
In 2004, new education reform legislation put the focus on student
accountability, requiring all students in the Class of 2008 to meet state
standards in math, reading and writing. In 2007, the Legislature postponed
the graduation requirement that students meet the math standard of the state
assessment until the Class of 2013, but mandated that they will still
graduate if they continue to take the math assessment or an approved
alternative and earn 2.0 math credits after 10th grade.
The SLP is one method to assist a student in meeting the learning
standards in Washington. State legislators developed the concept of a SLP as
a way to help students progress steadily and effectively on the path to
academic achievement and high school graduation. The 2004 law focuses on
students who were not able to meet the standard on one or more of the
content areas of the state assessment. In 2007, the aforementioned
legislation was amended to include additional elements for students in
8-12th grade: attendance and credit deficiencies that impact graduation
would also trigger a SLP, Washington Language Proficiency Test (WLPT II)
scores will be added (if applicable), and more information about local and
Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities will be included in plans
(Engrossed Senate Bill (ESB) 6673).
SLPs are developed to both inform and guide students and parents
regarding the respective role of the school, parents and the student to
systematically plan and monitor student academic success. Educators work
with the student and the family to facilitate two-way communication and
cooperative efforts to support the child’s success. Learning plans address
individual needs with a step-by-step plan and results-focused activities
designed to help students meet the state’s learning standards and stay
on-time for graduation.
In 2010, the legislation (ESSB 6604) revised the statute regarding the
student learning plans. Only 8th grade students who did not make
satisfactory progress on the 7th grade state assessment are required to have a
student learning plan.