Washington House passes bill that would change high school graduation requirements

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The state House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill that would dramatically change the requirements for a high school diploma in Washington state.

The bill, which still needs to go to the Senate for consideration, would temporarily eliminate the need to pass a science test for graduation. This year's high school seniors would benefit from that provision.

But the bill would also simplify the state testing system, getting rid of all the complicated alternatives to passing high school exams. Instead, students who do not pass the statewide tests in high school would just be required to take more classes in those subject areas in order to earn a diploma.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater, says his hope is that this new way of doing things will actually help kids gain more skills in math and English and avoid remedial classes in college.

Reykdal says there have been so many alternatives to testing that calling the tests a graduation requirement was almost meaningless.