This year is the first year that high-school seniors must pass a state math test or an alternative to graduate, and as of today, about 3,730 have yet to do so.
Last month, that number stood at about 8,000, but about half of those students have since learned that they met the requirement by receiving a high enough score on a portfolio of math work or passing a state math exam given in January.
Students have had to pass state reading and writing tests since 2008, but lawmakers had delayed a requirement that they also pass math tests because so many students struggle with that subject. Calls for additional delays this year have not gained traction in Olympia, although some still question whether it’s right to deny a diploma to students who meet all graduation requirements except for the one in math.
To meet the new math requirement, students must pass an algebra end-of-course exam, a geometry end-of-course exam, or similar exams designed for math classes that combine those subjects. Students also can meet the requirement in a number of ways, such as earning a high enough score on college-entrance exams, or submitting a collection of math work, which is graded by the state.
But the 3,730 students who have yet to meet the math requirement now have few ways to do so by June. Some of those students also may not have enough credits to graduate but the state does not keep track of that number. Anecdotally, it appears many of the 3,730 would be on track to graduate if not for the new math requirement.
In all, nearly 84 percent of the class of 2013 has now met state graduation requirements in reading, writing and math. That leaves nearly 12,000 students who have fallen short in one or more of those subjects.