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Washington Was One Of The Last States To Require High School-exit Exams. Now Seniors Can Apply For A Waiver To Graduate On Time.

Washington has remained one of just a dozen states that require students to pass high-stakes exams to earn a high-school diploma. That’s about to change: Starting with the class of 2020, high schoolers will no longer have to clear the standardized tests to graduate on time.

They still must take the federally mandated tests at least once during high school, but a new state law may remove some of the anxiety that tied a student’s performance on those tests to their chances of ever getting a diploma. Instead, the state is offering different ways for students to show they’re ready to be done with high school and move on with their education or work.