Wednesday, May 17, 2017

One test may block thousands of high school seniors in Washington from graduating this year

State Board of Education asks the legislature to take action

Posted By on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 4:06 PM


Thousands of high school seniors in Washington may not graduate because they haven't passed a biology end-of-course exam, according to the State Board of Education.

The board has asked the state legislature to eliminate 
The biology end-of-course exam is an obstacle between thousands of Washington high school students and graduation.
  • The biology end-of-course exam is an obstacle between thousands of Washington high school students and graduation.
the end-of-course test  as a graduation requirement, but it's unclear when, and if, the legislature will take action, says Alissa Muller, communications consultant for the state board.

After the legislature passed a two-year delay in 2015, the biology end-of-course test is supposed to become a graduation requirement with the graduating class of 2017. The requirement is in addition to other tests required for graduation in math and English language arts. In language arts, students must pass the statewide Smarter Balanced assessment or an approved alternative.

The same goes for math, though students can pass an algebra or geometry end-of-course exam instead of Smarter Balanced in order to graduate.

But the biology end-of-course exam is proving to be a major obstacle for many students. Muller says there are slightly fewer than 6,000 students who may not graduate because they didn't pass a test in one of the three subjects, but 3,000 of those students have passed all requirements other than the biology exam. For about 1,500 students, the English language arts test is the only obstacle; the math test is the last hurdle for 1,000 students.

In Spokane Public Schools, 72 students have met all requirements for graduation other than passing the biology end-of-course exam, according to Travis Schulhauser, SPS director of assessment and program effectiveness.

The state board is asking for action on the biology exam, specifically, because currently it is preventing the most students from graduating. Additionally, the state legislature has already agreed to defund the biology exam in the budgets on the table in both chambers.

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Spokane City Hall now offers moms who work there a room to breastfeed

Posted By on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 12:22 PM


Women who return to work at Spokane City Hall after having a baby now have a private space to nurse their babies or pump milk.

City Councilmembers Candace Mumm and Karen Stratton worked to get the room with the Gender and Pay Equity Committee and city administration. 
nursing_area_sign.png


“Our working culture doesn’t always make it easy on moms and babies and we want to support new and growing families,” Mumm says in a news release.

“A Mother’s Room provides a private space for mothers to breastfeed or breast-pump, which will make the transition back to work much easier. Supporting new moms returning to work is not only the right thing to do, but it can also help us attract and keep talented young women on our city workforce.”

More than 500 women work for the city of Spokane. Those who choose to have children typically get 6 to 12 weeks for maternity leave, depending on medical need, and up to 12 weeks of bonding time allowed for under the Family and Medical Leave Act, according to city spokesman Brian Coddington.

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Putin offers to help Trump, ex-Cougar acquitted of assault charges, and morning headlines

Posted on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 10:07 AM


ON INLANDER.COM

NEWS: Two Spokane police officers sustained minor injuries and seven staff members were assaulted in a brawl at Excelsior Youth Center that resulted in the arrest of five kids on on a combined total of 18 charges, including criminal mischief, fourth-degree assault and third-degree assault on law enforcement. The Inlander recently wrote about problems at Excelsior.


IN OTHER NEWS

Putin and Trump: With friends like these...
  • Putin and Trump: With friends like these...
Thanks, Vlad... but no thanks
President Trump has received an offer of help from a not-necessarily-welcome source: Russian President Vladimir Putin. That won't help his stature among a growing number of members of his own party, who are starting to back away from Trump as allegations mount involving everything Russian but Boris and Natasha. (Boston Globe)

Risch: Leakers are 'traitors'
Amid multiple reports that Trump  had shared classified information with high-ranking Russian officials during a meeting in the Oval Office, Idaho Sen. Jim Risch says it's not the president's fault. He blames 'weasels' and 'traitors' — presumably in the White House — who leaked the story initially to the Washington Post.

WSU's Barber acquitted
Former Washington State University defensive lineman Robert Barber was acquitted of second-degree assault charges in a Pullman courtroom. Barber,  who was accused of assaulting another WSU student in a brawl at a backyard party last July, plans to resume his pursuit of a professional football career. (Spokesman-Review)  

Gang of three?
All but two of the world's 197 countries are part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, a United Nations accord aimed at fighting climate change. But the United States could soon join Syria and Nicaragua as the third. Meanwhile, the White House is reportedly at war with itself regarding climate change. (Washington Post)



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