Monday, April 15, 2013

AP: Thousands of Washington Seniors May Not Make It To Commencement

Posted By on Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Thousands of Washington high school students "are sweating bullets," said a school administrator. The teens are afraid that they might not pass the state's newest graduation requirement: a math exam.

The Associated Press reports that approximately 16,000 students still haven't cleared Washington's new graduation hurdle. The class of 2013 is the first expected to pass an algebra or geometry final test to graduate. The class of 2015 will be required to pass both algebra and geometry finals.

"It's painful to see how much time and effort can go into this and they just can't quite reach that bar," Seattle District Assessment Coordinator Nancy Steers told the AP. "Some of those kids will go on to wonderful things, and they just won't be a scholar in math."

The AP reports that Washington's on-time graduate rate has hovered just below 80 percent for the past few years and only 77 percent of this year's senior class have passed their statewide tests.

"Our biggest problem in improving the graduation rate or closing the achievement gap is we don't have the resources we need to be able to do that," Mary Lindquist, president of the Washington Education Association told the AP. "Underfunding classrooms is the biggest barrier."

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