Editor's note: The above New Day Northwest video was created in March 2019. Shomari Jones shared some strategies the Bellevue School District has adopted to increase graduation rates. 

Washington state high school students will no longer be required to pass statewide tests in English and language arts, math, and science in order to graduate. The bill, HB-1599 was passed by the legislature and given to Gov. Inslee April 26.

New pathways to graduation include:

  • Successful completion of college-level class in English and language arts, math and science
  • Admission to college or career training program
  • Award of a scholarship to higher education
  • Enlistment in the military and meet the standard in the armed services vocational aptitude battery
  • Achieving an ACT or SAT score for math, reading or English or writing portions, as determined by the state Board of Education
  • Achieving a score of 3 or higher on Advanced Placement tests in relevant subject areas
  • Achieving a score of 4 or higher on International Baccalaureate tests in relevant subject areas
  • Qualify for college credit in dual credit courses in English and language arts, and math 
  • Complete a sequence of career and technical education courses that are relevant to the student's post-high school plans

Students will still be able to take the statewide test to graduate. School districts will have discretion over which pathways they offer to students and will not be required to offer all of them. 

School districts are also allowed to waive up to two credits an individual student needs to graduate, but only in special circumstances. The credits may not be waived if they are core credits as mandated by the state Board of Education.