SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of June 12, 2017
Title: An act relating to certificates of academic and individual achievement.
Brief Description: Concerning certificates of academic and individual achievement.
Sponsors: House Committee on Education (originally sponsored by Representative MacEwen).
Brief History: Passed House: 3/06/17, 92-6; 5/02/17, 89-4; 5/25/17, 89-5.
Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education:
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION
Staff: Susan Mielke (786-7422)
Background: Federal High School Assessment Requirements. Under federal law, states must assess student achievement on the English language arts, mathematics, and science state learning standards at least once in the high school grades.
Washington State High School Assessment Requirements. Since 2008, Washington's minimum high school graduation requirements have included a requirement that students must meet the state standard on the statewide assessments in reading and writing or English language arts, and mathematics to earn a Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA). Students receiving special education who are not appropriately assessed by the statewide assessments may instead earn a Certificate of Individual Achievement (CIA) to graduate from high school. A student's individual education program team makes the determination of whether the state assessment is appropriate for a student receiving special education.
Meeting the state standard on the state science assessment was scheduled to become a graduation requirement for the graduating Class of 2015; however, the Legislature acted in 2015 to delay adding the science assessment as a graduation requirement. Current law requires the graduating Class of 2017 to meet the state standard on the state science assessment. The state science assessment is an end-of-course (EOC) biology assessment. The biology EOC assessment is based on Washington's 2009 science learning standards, also known as the essential academic learning requirements (EALRs). Washington adopted new science EALRs in 2013. A new comprehensive science assessment of the 2013 science learning standards will be administered for the first time in spring 2018.
Alternative State Assessments. The Ninth Circuit federal court found that when a state requires students to meet the state standard on a state assessment as a high school graduation requirement then the state must also provide alternative ways for students to demonstrate they have met the state standard if the student fails to meet the state standard on the state assessment. In Washington, high school students must take the state assessment at least once before accessing an alternative. School districts must provide retake opportunities of the state assessment and legislatively-approved alternative assessments for high school students to use in place of the statewide assessments to show they have met the state standard and earn the CAA. Alternative assessments include the following:
Collection of Evidence (COE)—a state evaluation of academic work samples prepared by the student with instructional support from a teacher;
Grade Point Average (GPA) comparison—the grades of a student in their 12th-grade year who has an overall GPA of 3.2 but did not meet the state standard on the state assessment are compared with the grades of students who took the same courses and met the state standard on the state assessment; and
College Admission/AP/IB Tests—students may use their English language arts and mathematics scores on the SAT; their English language arts, mathematics, and science scores on the ACT; scores on specified Advanced Placement (AP) exams; and scores on the International Baccalaureate (IB) exams.
Other States' High School Assessment Requirements. The Education Commission of the States reports that 15 states require students in the graduating Class of 2017 to pass a state assessment to graduate: Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
Student Learning Plans. Current law requires each school district to prepare student learning plans for eighth grade students who are not successful on one or more of the state assessments or are not on track to graduate due to credit deficiencies or absences. The plan must address specified information and be shared with the student's parents.
Summary of Bill: The requirement for students to meet the state standard on the English language arts, mathematics, and science state assessments and earn a CAA or CIA to graduate from high school is eliminated. All references to the CAA, CIA, and legislatively-approved alternative assessments for high school students are removed from law.
The current law addressing student learning plans is maintained but provided in a separate statute.
The provisions of the bill apply beginning with the graduating class of 2014.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately.