Seattle Superintendent Jose Banda will not seek a waiver for 80 of the district’s high-school seniors who have met all state and district graduation requirements except for the new one in math.
This is the first year that high school students must pass a state math exam or an approved alternative to earn a diploma. In past years, students who failed the state math test could meet the requirement by continuing to take and pass math classes.
Seattle’s high-school principals had asked Banda to request a waiver for all 80 students, concerned that students of color were disproportionately represented among them.
In a letter to principals, the 80 students and their families, Banda said he shared the principals’ concern, but would not seek a waiver. He said he learned that a districtwide waiver, as opposed to one for an individual student, would require action by the Legislature. He outlined a number of ways that the seniors could still meet the math requirement by June, or over the summer.
Banda also said that the district will stick to its policy that students can’t participate in graduation ceremonies unless they’ve met all state and district graduation requirements.