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Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: Washington State Board of Education

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July 11, 2014 at 5:00 AM

State board protects 17 core graduation credits from waivers

When the state’s new graduation requirements go into effect in 2019, school districts won’t have as much flexibility as some wanted in waiving credits for students facing unusual circumstances.

The state board of education voted Thursday to protect 17 of the 24 required credits from waivers, essentially limiting any waivers to elective classes.

The 17 protected credits include four in English, three in math, three in science, three in social science, two in health and fitness, one in the arts, and one in career/technical education.

The 8-5 vote followed a lot of debate about what the Legislature actually meant when it passed the new graduation law last spring. That law increased the number of credits that students must earn from 20 to 24. It also gave school districts the ability to waive up to two of those credits in unusual circumstances.

It was clear that each district would be able to define what “unusual” meant, but debate erupted over which credits could be waived.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: graduation requirements, waivers, Washington State Board of Education

July 3, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Debate heats up over flexibility in new graduation requirements

Last spring, the Washington State Legislature voted to raise the number of credits that students must earn to graduate from high school from 20 to 24. The bill passed by a large majority, and the change will go into effect for the class of 2019.

But in the last few months, debate over one part of that bill has risen as sharply as this week’s temperatures.

The law says school districts can waive up to two of the 24 credits in “unusual circumstances,” a term that each school district would define for itself.

So far, so good.

The argument centers on which credits could be waived. While some argue that school districts should be able to decide that, too, others contend that 17 “core” credits  mostly in math, English, science and social studies  should be off-limits.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: Excellent Schools Now, graduation requirements, Washington State Board of Education