Washington state should replace its current, one-size-fits-all diploma with three diplomas, similar to New York state’s local, Regents and Advanced Regents diplomas.
The current requirements for a diploma are inadequate because they contribute to a system operating largely as a one-size fits-all system instead of respecting the vast diversity in the student population. The system fails to provide an appropriate educational opportunity that meets each student’s needs.
On Aug. 5, the Washington State Board of Education lowered the cut score for passing to below the “standard score for proficient” on the SBAC testing. Then explained that this was done to ease the transition for our system and demonstrate fairness to students. This statement was needed to maintain the dual illusions of fairness and quality in this unfair one-diploma system.
This current system is incredibly weak on fairness to students. If the current monolithic graduation requirements were rigorously applied it would be a “school to unemployment pipeline” for a significant number of pupils. Thus we find fakery and dishonesty in place of rigor. The current system results in teachers fudging the passing requirements for many courses as well as the lowering of cut scores on state assessments.
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Danaher M. Dempsey Jr.