Washington state lawmakers want to change HS graduation contingent on passing tests

(KATU Photo)

State Rep. Paul Harris said Washington is one a few states that require high school seniors to pass standardized tests to graduate.

"I see absolutely no correlation to this test and success in life, absolutely none," said Harris.

His sentiments are echoed by his Democratic counterpart.

"When we have one test that is put into place to measure proficiency for all kids, we run into a problem," said state Rep. Monica Stonier.

Stonier said there are nearly 6,000 students in Washington state that are affected by this law.

HB 1046 would eliminate the requirement to pass the tests in order to graduate.

Something that would help Heritage High School senior Jacquelin Lee-Westenburger.

"I thought I did really well on it. I worked really hard on it and it was heartbreaking to know I didn't make it," said Lee-Westenburger.

She took the test, but didn't pass the biology section, so she won't get her diploma. She had plans to join the National Guard and apply to pharmacy school at Oregon State University, but without a diploma, her hopes are shattered.

"Knowing that I can't pursue that because of that test, it's not right," said Lee-Westenburger.

Lawmakers said the bill has overwhelming support, but it's being held up by a few in the state Senate.

"Theoretically, this can be changed tomorrow if the Senate would show up and pass House Bill 1046, and the governor would agree to sign it by the end of the day or the next day, the problem could be solved," said Stonier.

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