Volz releases statement on the passage of legislation to provide new pathways to high school graduation

On Friday, the Washington State House of Representatives passed a bill that would delink standardized assessments from high school graduation requirements, as well as create new pathways toward graduation.

Rep. Mike Volz, R-Spokane, supported the bill and offered an amendment similar to legislation he sponsored earlier this year to require state elected officials to take the standardized tests.

He released the following statement:

“This year, I co-sponsored two bills that would decouple assessments from graduation requirements – House Bill 1599, which passed the House on Friday, and House Bill 1089, a Republican proposal that also cleared the House last week.

“The Washington State Constitution says education is our paramount duty. In an effort to continue our commitment to our students, I believe it’s reasonable to ask those elected to make laws affecting our K-12 system to partake in some of the same requirements our students must complete. That’s why I sponsored an amendment to House Bill 1599 that would have required state elected officials and members of the State Board of Education to take the standardized assessments required for graduation.

“As I’ve said before, if it’s good for the goose, then it’s good for the gander. And I think requiring policymakers to complete these tests would be a great way for us to empathize with our students.

“It’s no secret these assessments have served as a barrier to graduation for many bright, capable youth. I’m all for encouraging our students to be high-achievers, but allowing one test taken on one day out of their entire high-school careers that will determine the rest of their educational trajectory seems wholly unfair. Both bills would maintain rigor without forcing students to jump through a one-size-fits-all hoop.

“Plus, our teachers and school administrators need the flexibility to teach the curriculum and skills students will need for the rest of their lives. Teaching to the test is not going to help students as they pursue higher education and career opportunities in the future.

“I’m pleased both of these bills are moving forward. I hope we can do right by our students and teachers by getting this legislation signed into law.”

Both House Bill 1599 and 1098 have moved to the Senate for further consideration.


Washington State House Republican Communications