Washington Board of Education approves new high school graduation rules

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Washington may soon expand the list of high school courses that meet graduation requirements.

That’s according to a set of rules unanimously advanced by Washington’s Board of Education last Friday under House Bill 1308. The law, passed this year, directs the Board of Education to establish a list of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge International courses which meet new “graduation pathway” requirements.

The state established graduation pathways in 2019, giving high school students different avenues toward graduation.

Courses newly approved by the board to meet graduation requirements include AP European history, AP African American studies, AP precalculus and any IB course in computer science. Cambridge International courses such as drama, economics and geography were also added to the list. (The full list is available on the state Board of Education website.)

State Board of Education members also suggested including AP physics, AP macroeconomics and AP microeconomics before final adoption of the rules.

HB 1308 also offers a new graduation pathway focused on workforce experience, allowing students to graduate through completing a “performance-based learning experience,” such as professional skill-building, internships or community service. The state Board of Education approved rules for the new pathway at last Friday’s meeting as well.

A public hearing on the new rules is expected in late October or early November. Rules will take effect 31 days after they’re finalized by the board, likely in January 2024.

by Grace Deng, Washington State Standard

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