• The Class of 2018
    During the 2018 session, the state legislature passed HB 2224: Providing flexibility in high school graduation requirements and supporting student success during the transition to a federal every student succeeds act-compliant accountability system. One of the purposes of this legislation was to ease testing requirements to earn a diploma.
    But is that really the problem--do students not graduate because of tests?
    Our story explores whether this legislation would have a meaningful impact on our incoming seniors.
  • On our display board, there is a length of masonry line for each of our 605 seniors. The four colors represent our four high schools: Black Hills High School (white), New Market High School (pink), Secondary Options (yellow), and Tumwater High School (orange).
    The strands weave through three graduation requirements: meeting the math standards via testing, meeting the English language arts standards via testing, and being on-track to earn 22 credits by June.
    • 528 seniors have already met the math standards
    • 513 seniors have already met the English language arts standards
    • 471 seniors are on track to have enough credits by June 2018

    New 24-credit requirements will be in place for the Class of 2021. If these same standards were in place for the Class of 2018, only 357 students---59% of the class---would be considered on track for graduation.

    For now, the story is unfinished. We don't know how many will cross the line to graduation in June. But we can say that the tests are most significant hurdle our students face. This leaves us to wonder if the legislature will continue to decrease graduation requirements in the coming years when the real barrier (credits) comes to the forefront. How do we, as a community, feel about graduates who do not have to meet the rigorous criteria?
    Ethics statement
    All data were collected by Tumwater School District staff on August 1, 2017. Data for both offline and online displays were retrieved from our student information systems: Skyward and Homeroom. Calculations and visuals were created using Microsoft Excel.