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High school math requirement change is law

State Superintendent Randy Dorn’s proposed math legislation (House Bill 1412) was signed into law on March 11 by Gov. Chris Gregoire. The law is in effect for spring 2011 testing.

Dorn’s legislation amends the math assessment graduation requirement to allow students in the classes of 2013 and 2014 to pass one end-of-course math exam instead of two. That will allow the assessment system to be better aligned in the transition from the High School Proficiency Exam (a single, comprehensive math exam) to two end-of-course exams (algebra 1 and geometry).

Most 10th grade students this year are taking geometry, and will take the geometry end-of-course state exam in late May/early June. However, under the old law, they would have been required to take an algebra 1 exam a year after taking the course. Now, the requirement to take a second end-of-course exam is no longer in effect for students in the classes of 2013 and 2014.

Current 8th graders (class of 2015) will be the first to be required to pass two state end-of-course exams. Most of those students will take algebra 1 in 9th grade, meaning they take the end-of-course exam in the same year they take the course.

“My job is to speak for the students of this state,” Dorn said. “And I’ve always said, end-of-course should mean end-of-course — not a test a year later.”

Students in the classes of 2011 and 2012 (current 11th and 12th graders) are not affected by this legislation. Those students can still pass one state math exam or earn two credits of math after 10th grade to meet the math graduation requirement.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has amended its graduation resources, handouts and Web pages to reflect the change in law.

Visit www.WAtesting.com for information on state testing and www.k12.wa.us/Resources for graduation requirement handouts and materials.

The math end-of-course exam page is at www.k12.wa.us/GraduationRequirements/MathEnd-of-CourseExams.aspx.

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