OLYMPIA, Wash. - Students who graduate high school in Washington state will soon need to pass five exit exams before they receive their diplomas, but the State Superintendent wants to change that.
Students who graduated in the Class of 2012 were required to take two exams to ensure they had the knowledge and skills expected of high school grads. But by the time this year's 10th graders graduate, it will be five. Students who graduate in 2015 will need to pass the following exams:
1. Reading High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE)
2. Writing HSPE
3. Biology End-of-Course (EOC)
4. Algebra I EOC
5. Geometry EOC
State Superintendent Randy Dorn supports the exit testing, but he says he thinks five exams is too expensive. In January, Dorn says he plans to ask the Legislature to require the following three exams instead:
1. Reading/writing HSPE
2. Biology EOC
3. Algebra I EOC
The State Office of the Superintendent says the cost of the state assessment system is high, both in terms of time and money, and each exam costs about $30.
If students don't pass one or more of the exams, the state provides other ways for students to demonstrate their abilities, like a Collection of Evidence; a portfolio of classroom work prepared by the student and a teacher. That option however, costs $400 per student for each content area.