Newly enacted legislation (E2SHB 1599) removes the explicit link of the state assessment to graduation, replacing it with a set of pathway options for graduation. The Board is charged with rulemaking for these pathways, as well as reviewing them, gathering stakeholder input, and making recommendations for improvement. View a one pager on graduation pathway options and other graduation requirement changes from E2SHB 1599.
Beginning with the Class of 2020, students must meet at least one of these pathway options to graduate: [Note: these are a summary of SBE proposed rules (WAC) graduation pathway options.]
- Smarter Balanced Assessments: Meet or exceed the graduation scores in the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics.
- Dual Credit: Earn at least one high school credit in ELA and at least one high school credit in math in dual credit courses (Running Start, College in the High School, and Career and Technical Education dual credit courses). Students do not have to pay fees or claim college credit to meet this pathway, but they must be eligible for college credit at the level of 100 or higher, by meeting the program criteria established by the local district and the applicable higher education entity.
- AP/IB/Cambridge: For both ELA and math, earn a 3 or higher on certain Advanced Placement (AP) exams or a 4 or higher on certain International Baccalaureate (IB) exams or an E on certain Cambridge International exams, or pass the course with at least a C+.
- SAT/ACT: Meet or exceed the graduation scores set by SBE in the math and ELA portions of the SAT or ACT.
- Transition Course: Pass a transition course in ELA and math (for example, a Bridge to College course, which is a senior course for students who earned a Level 2 on the SBA) which allows a student to place directly into a credit-bearing college level course. This pathway includes transition courses identified through local agreements between colleges and school districts.
- Combination: Meet any combination of at least one ELA and one math option of those options listed in 1-5.
- ASVAB: Meet standard on the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) by scoring at least the minimum established by the military for eligibility to serve in a branch of the armed services.*
- CTE Sequence: Complete a sequence of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses: two or more high school credits of CTE courses in a progression tailored to the student’s goals and relevant to the postsecondary pathway(s) outlined in the student’s High School and Beyond Plan. The sequence may be comprised of courses within the same CTE program area or courses within more than one CTE program area.*
*Note: The armed services test and the CTE course sequence are new graduation pathways; the other pathways have been alternative assessments. Students who pursue these pathways (ASVAB or CTE) do not need to meet English and math requirements separately. English and math content are embedded in both pathways—and both pathways meet the purpose of a high school diploma: to declare that a student is ready for success in postsecondary education, gainful employment, and citizenship, and is equipped with the skills to be a lifelong learner (RCW 28A.230.090). A student who meets either the ASVAB standard or the CTE pathway requirements has met the graduation pathway requirement.
For additional information, review our 1599 + Pathway FAQs.