State Senate Inaction Threatens High-School Graduation

Time is running out for action in Olympia that would allow thousands of high school seniors graduate with their classes this month. Dan Frizzle has more in this audio report produced by the Washington State House Democratic Caucus

SFX: “The Speaker has locked the roll-call machine.  Clerk will take the record, please.”  “Mr. Speaker, there are 92 yeas, six nays, zero excused or not voting.”  “Having received a constitutional majority, substitute House Bill 1046 is declared passed.”  GAVEL [:12]

That was back in early March, the first time this year that the House OK’d emergency legislation removing standardized tests in English, math and science as hurdles that had to be cleared before a student could graduate from high school.  They’d still have to pass their classes, earn all their credits, and do all the work.  They’d still have to take the tests, for that matter, but the scores would be used to assess a school’s effectiveness, not an individual student’s achievements.  Since then the House has passed the bill two more times, each time with lopsided bipartisan majorities, but Republican leaders who control the Senate have not allowed a vote in that chamber.  Representative Monica Stonier, a Democrat from Vancouver, is one of the main legislative voices in favor of the bill

STONIER: “There is not just one way for a student to show what they know and what they are able to do. Teachers are amazing at finding all the different ways students can demonstrate proficiency and standards.” [:14]

If the Senate continues to ignore the legislation, several thousand high-school seniors in Washington state – including nearly 6,000 who passed two out of the three high-stakes exams – will not be able to graduate with their classmates this month.   In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.