Meaningful High School Diploma

We need a K-12 system that fully prepares students to graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in college, work, and life.

A meaningful high school diploma is one that represents the completion of a relevant and rigorous curriculum. This means that all schools provide students with challenging coursework, including access to advanced and college-level courses. Right now, students of color and those who are low-income, multilingual, or have special needs are consistently underrepresented in academic acceleration programs like AP courses, college dual enrollment, and career and technical education. They are also at a higher risk of dropping out. We must support all students so that they have access to challenging courses and stay in school, and eliminate the gaps in graduation rates to ensure that every Washington student can succeed after high school.

A way forward
  • Increase the diversity of students in advanced academic programs by instituting an opt-out policy so that all students are enrolled in rigorous classes by default.
  • Prioritize implementation of the 24-credit high school diploma to ensure alignment with college admissions requirements.
  • Decrease the disproportional suspension and expulsion rates of low-income, minority, and special education students to increase graduation rates among these groups.

Changing Discipline, Changing Outcomes

A bold new approach to school discipline at Lincoln High School in Walla Walla has transformed the lives of its students. The small alternative school was able to reduce its suspension rates by 85%, almost entirely eliminate expulsions, and increase … [Learn More]

Preparing Students for Their Future

At Toppenish High School, over 99% of the school’s 716 students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Fortunately, the students have Principal Trevor Greene, National Principal of the Year, at their school. Thanks to the work of Principal Greene and … [Learn More]