Chase: Graduation for 2,000 students was worth the extra week

July 10th, 2015|

Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, released the following statement on the Legislature’s final action today to enable 2,000 students to graduate this year:

“In the wee hours of June 30, I proposed an amendment to the operating budget to enable 2,000 students who had passed their classes but failed a single, high-stakes biology test, to graduate high school this year. That amendment failed, but it opened an important dialogue.

“It forced legislators to recognize that high-stakes tests skew education away from 12 years of classroom performance and achievement and onto a single, do-or-die test that experts admit is not an accurate gauge of mastery of curricula. In short, requiring passage of this test for graduation does not serve our students — it fails them.

“When my Democratic colleagues and I in the Senate subsequently refused to vote for a session-ending budget deal that would have forced additional high-stakes tests on an accelerated timetable, we were assailed by newspaper pundits and others tired of this overlong session. But we stayed the course; instead of listening to the critics, we listened to the students who needed those diplomas in order to attend college and be offered the first jobs of their careers. And because we listened to the right people, 2,000 deserving students will get to graduate this year and move forward in life.

“While Republicans pushed to pass a budget and go home, we insisted on a budget deal that would make sure 2,000 deserving students got to graduate. I am proud of my Democratic colleagues for standing with me. I think graduation for 2,000 students was worth an extra week to do the job right. And I suspect those students and their extended families would agree.”