Tell the State Board to stop watering down diplomas

Now, more than ever, students in Washington deserve access to a high-quality and relevant education that meaningfully prepares them for college and career after graduation. Your voice is needed to help protect the integrity of high school diplomas in our state: write the State Board of Education now and tell them to stop watering down the meaning of a high school diploma.

Last month, all eight of our coalition members signed a letter to the State Board that encouraged board members to prioritize student support first in all that they do. Several of us also testified before the Board and shared our concerns about proposed rules that would extend a “two-for-one” credit policy to all courses that was originally designed for Career and Technical Education programs.

The Board is meeting tomorrow afternoon to hear public comment on this proposed rule. Will you join us in standing up for students by writing an email to the Board today? 

Here’s a recording of four coalition members sharing our concerns with the board during their virtual meeting last month:

We were clear in our testimonies that the State Board needs to slow down and vote NO on this proposed rule to allow adequate time for meaningful engagement with community-based organizations: 

“I’m testifying today so that you know that people like me are alarmed to hear that the state board’s response to this crisis is to effectively weaken requirements. Specifically, and particularly under the guise of meeting equity goals.”  – Shirline Wilson, from Education Reform Now

“Given the drastic changes to graduation pathways and credit requirements discussed, it is critical that the State Board engage partners beyond districts and professional organizations and to do it early.” Virginia Barry, Stand for Children Washington

“And as executive director of BESR, I’m often concerned when I hear the word flexibility. I hear this as a lowering of standards, of lowering rigor. It reinforces a mindset that certain students are unable to meet standards.” Steve Smith, of the Black Education Strategy Roundtable

“The senior executive executives of our state’s largest private employers on the Washington Roundtable strongly urge you to stop the process of adoption of these rule changes until you, at minimum, conduct authentic outreach to leaders of color and community-based organizations that serve those students and youth most marginalized by this system you look to maintain.”  Brian Jeffries, Washington Roundtable

Write your letter to the State Board now and join the movement to ensure a high-quality education for every student in Washington.

If you’d like to attend the meeting and give feedback on the proposed rules via Zoom, you can join tomorrow from 2pm-4pm.

The High School Success Coalition