Class of 2015 needs to pass science exam to graduate

July 12, 2011

By Staff

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill into law June 7 that changes science graduation requirements for high school students.

All incoming freshmen — the class of 2015 — have to pass a biology end-of-course science exam before they graduate. The first test will be offered May 2012.

Originally, the classes of 2013 and 2014 were scheduled to take the exam, but State Superintendent Randy Dorn lobbied to delay the graduation requirement until 2017. The state Legislature rescheduled the requirement for the class of 2015.

The two-year delay will save the state $20 million, according to a news release from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

With the new end-of-course biology exam, sophomores will no longer have to take the science portion of the High School Proficiency Exam. The new end-of-course exam will count toward the No Child Left Behind testing requirements.

The OSPI has recommended that the state Legislature fund physical and integrated science on the science end-of-course exam, too, but that decision is likely two years away when funding could become available, OSPI spokesman Chris Barron said.

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