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Stay in School

Wednesday’s editorial offers our take on today’s announcement that more than 90 percent of the Class of 2008 met the required reading and writing standards to qualify for graduation.

Sounds great, but several reasons for concern still exist — starting with the dropout rate. Our editorial won’t share the rosy tone of Washington State Superintendent Terry Bergeson’s press release.

But her account does include an important message for every student struggling to fulfill his or her graduation requirements.

“Many options exist for students not graduating this spring, whether they lack credits or need to demonstrate their reading and writing skills. Because the school year ends Aug. 31, 12th-graders can still take the August WASL and graduate in their senior year.

“If they have taken the WASL at least once, they also may use an alternative option, such as SAT scores, to demonstrate their reading and/or writing skills. Beyond that, students have three free options:

Stay in high school.

Enroll in a high school completion program on a community college campus.

Continue in Running Start (a program that allows eligible 11th- and 12th-grade students to take college classes tuition free and accrue both high school and college credits for those classes).”

Other options exist as well. Bergson’s office has prepared a publication that explains in greater detail.

Any who cares about a youngster who’s ready to give up on school ought to check it out.