Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Karen Fraser, D- Thurston County,  issued the following statement after introduction of an agreement on a compromise bill to allow 2,000 high school seniors to graduate. Senate Bill 6145 will delay the high school graduation requirement of a high stakes biology assessment test this year and in 2016:

“Today is a brighter day for nearly 2,000 of Washington’s deserving high school seniors who will now get their diplomas.

“They will now be able to further their education and go to college, enter into vocational training, and get jobs which would have otherwise be denied to them without a high school diploma.

“I am so happy for these young adults and their parents. Graduation should be an occasion for celebration. That dream was almost derailed this year for nearly 2,000 wonderful young adults, and even more students and families would have faced this crisis next year. Fortunately these dreams will no longer be derailed.

“But they could have been.

“I continue to believe that our state’s high stakes testing system is unnecessary. The bill introduced today won’t completely solve the problem. I know there is still critical work to do on this issue.

“Our students still face high stakes tests in math and English that might close doors to their futures. And in just a few years, we are scheduled to yet again change which tests count for graduation.

“We need a solution that permanently reforms this system. Let’s make sure that we take a student’s entire academic career into consideration. Let’s make sure we have a system that sets students up for success, not punishes them excessively for our reliance on a broken testing system.

“I look forward to working next session on finding a permanent bipartisan solution to these issues.”