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April 18, 2013 at 6:17 PM

New option available for seniors to meet math requirement

The 3,730 high-school seniors who have passed state tests in reading and writing, but have yet to meet the state’s new math graduation requirement, will be able to submit a second portfolio of work.

Up until this year, students could submit only one portfolio per subject, unless they came very close to passing the first time.  But the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction announced Thursday that any student in the class of 2013 can submit a second portfolio by June 12.

The scores for those portfolios won’t be back until August. School districts have varying policies about whether students can participate in graduation ceremonies if they have yet to meet all graduation requirements. That means some students, even if they pass, may not be able to take part in the ceremonies.  But the second-portfolio option at least opens up one more way for students to earn their diplomas over the summer.

In all, about 11,700 students in the class of 2013 still need to pass state tests (or approved alternatives) in reading, writing or math to meet state graduation requirements.  Many of them may be falling short in other areas as well, such as having enough credits or finishing their senior projects.  The rest of the class — about 60,300 students – have already met all three state requirements.

The state is offering the second shot at the portfolios — called Collections of Evidence (COE) – for 2013 only.  In a memo to school districts, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction said that was because ”of a lack of understanding around COE rules that limit submissions.”

This is the first year that students had to pass state math tests or show an equivalent level of skill through approved alternatives such as the portfolio of work.  Students have had to pass reading and writing tests, or alternatives, since 2008.

In addition to submitting a second portfolio of work, students have a few other ways to meet state graduation requirements as well, such as earning specified scores on the SAT or ACT college-entrance exams.  But the deadlines to take those tests in time to get the results by graduation have largely passed, too.

0 Comments | More in Education | Topics: class of 2013, graduation, math

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