The effects of credit changes by grade

Shannon Heckt

As if the SAT, ACT, PSAT, HSPE, district tests, and state tests weren’t enough. Washington State has now changed the graduation requirements again.

The grad requirements are different depending on which graduating class you are in. The states are changing up what tests have to be passed in order to graduate.

“Several states got together and said ‘we want to do away with the state testing’”, Donna Hood said.

For the class of 2017 and beyond, tests are being piloted with this year’s juniors that could replace tests like the EOC and HSPE although they are still under debate. As of now the classes of 2015 and 2016 have to pass the Algebra 1 OR Geometry EOC but this August it was announced that these students must only pass one or the other of these tests.

Some teachers believe that there is already too much testing for students and that there should be less learning taken away from the subject rather than teaching to the test.

“I definitely don’t think we need more tests than we already have. I think we’re testing students too much.” English teacher Henry Level said.

The question that is commonly asked is “Is this really helping us?”

“I don’t think that produces better results”, Level said.

Teachers would prefer not to just teach to a test and be able to expand their curriculum.

Also for the class of 2017 and beyond, there will be increased credit requirements. They will have to take a half more credit of social studies and one more credit of science than the other classes so their school days will be busier than student’s schedules in the past.

“[If] you have an eight period schedule, you want students to maximize their opportunities”, Hood said.

These classes are being added so that students can experience more of the opportunities this school offers. Students will be able to experience more subjects and learn what they are interested in.

“Students are still finding out who they are”, Hood said.

Students fought hard to keep their eight period schedule and should utilize their opportunities.

“If they were asking Issaquah and Skyline to increase opportunity at the same time on a six period day, they needed to ask us on an eight period day to increase opportunity”, Hood said.

The Issaquah School Board wants things to be fair between the school district. Since Liberty was able to keep the eight period schedules students have to take more classes.

Some may worry that since there will be more classes they will not to be able to have a waiver their senior year. Hood says that students will be allowed to have one per semester and can apply for a second one but this could be subject to change.