# Math FAQs

The Board provides advocacy and strategic oversight of public education RCW 28A.305.130, and establishes state minimum graduation requirements (RCW 28A.230.090).

The Board also sets the scores on the state math assessments that students must attain to meet or exceed state standards.

The State Board of Education intends for the third credit to be a rigorous, high school-level math course that will serve the student's education and career goals. Courses in which the majority of the math is at a K-8 level would not qualify for the third credit. Traditional math examples may include, but are not limited to: algebra 2, statistics, discrete math, linear algebra, mathematical modeling, or pre-calculus.

Students and educators should be aware that Algebra II, as well as a senior year math-based quantitative course, is a College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs), a requirement for admission to Washington public four-year baccalaureate institutions, as well as many other colleges and universities.

The content of the third credit of math may be chosen by the student based on the student's interest and their high school and beyond plan, with the agreement of the student's parent or guardian or agreement of the school counselor or principal. Rules adopted by the SBE, WAC 180-51-068 and WAC 180-51-210, clarify that the school must give precedence to the direction of the parents or guardian, if provided, and that request for agreement should be made in the predominant language of the parents or guardian to the extent feasible.

Non-math courses may count as a third credit of math or substitute for a third credit of math if the course is:

- A CTE course with a course equivalency in math.
- A computer science course, and the school counselor has provided written notification to the student and the student’s parents or guardians of the consequences of the substitution on postsecondary opportunities.
- A course that addresses high school level learning standards in math and is locally identified as meeting a math graduation requirement.
- A Bridge to College math course, or other course designed for students who did not pass the state assessment in math.

Note: a support class may count as an elective credit, but it cannot satisfy the third credit of math. A student may not repeat algebra 1, geometry, integrated math I or integrated math II and count the repeated course as the third credit of math.

Yes.

Yes. If most of the course is rigorous high school level math, the title of the class is immaterial. CTE math examples might include, but are not limited to, OSPI-approved frameworks in: robotics, engineering design I and II, drafting for civil and architectural engineering, construction math, applied mathematics, business economics math, financial literacy, and business statistics.

CTE model frameworks are available on the CTE pages of the OSPI website.

To count as a third credit of math, a CTE mathematics course should not be identical to a math course the student has already taken. For example, if a CTE mathematics course is transcribed as “geometry,” and a student has already earned credit for geometry, only one of the courses may count toward meeting the mathematics graduation credit requirement. (See the Transcript FAQ for the procedure when a student repeats a course.) While it is useful for students to practice learned math skills in different settings, for a course to count as a third credit of math, a significant portion of the math learning standards content and/or practices must be different from previous credit the student has earned in math.

If the majority of the course is high school level math, the title of the class is immaterial. Districts will need to make these determinations locally by clearly identifying the standards and competencies the course represents.

Yes. A student may take high school-level math in middle school and elect not to put the credit on his or her transcript, and then begin earning credits to meet graduation requirements with a more advanced math course in high school.

A student who prior to ninth grade successfully completes one or more high school level math courses with a passing grade and opts to receive no high school credit for such course(s) in accordance with RCW 28A.230.090 and WAC 180-51-030, or a student who demonstrated mastery in these subjects but did not receive high school credits, may either:

- (A) Repeat the course(s) for credit in high school; or
- (B) Earn three credits of high school mathematics in different math subjects than those completed before high school. The student must take algebra 1 or integrated mathematics I and geometry or integrated math II in high school if the student did not complete these courses at a high school level prior to high school, but the student does not need to repeat courses if the student already passed the courses at a high school level. (WAC 180-51-210).

Also, through mastery-based credit, if a student is successful in completing a higher-level course that includes a continuing progression of the learning standards, it may demonstrate mastery of the content of the lower-level course in a sequence. For example, a student may be able to demonstrate mastery of Algebra 1 by successfully completing an Algebra 2 course. In general, a class in geometry would not show a continuing progression of learning standards in algebra. See WAC 180-51-051 Procedure for Granting Students Mastery-based Credit:

(d) Successful completion of next higher-level course: Districts may award credit for a course when the student successfully completes the next higher-level course in a sequence that includes a natural progression of the state learning standards from the previous course. Districts shall use the state or locally determined learning standards as their guide when making decisions regarding what courses should qualify.

For the Class of 2019 and beyond: In 2019, the Legislature established multiple graduation pathway options (HB 1599), so that students have multiple ways to demonstrate their readiness to graduate from high school. For math, students can either demonstrate proficiency in one of the pathways with a specific math component (state assessment, dual credit, AP/IB/Cambridge, SAT/ACT, or a transition course), or by completing the CTE sequence or ASVAB pathway. (Clarifying note: Students who pursue these pathways (ASVAB or CTE) do not need to meet English and math requirements separately. English and math content are embedded in both pathways—and a student who meets either the ASVAB standard or the CTE pathway requirements has met the graduation pathway requirement.)

For previous graduating classes: In 2013, the Legislature specified the assessment requirement for the graduating Classes of 2008 to 2019 (EHB 1450). Students in the Classes of 2015 to 2018 will be graduating during years when the state will be transitioning to assessments aligned to new math standards, the Common Core State Standards. Students in these classes will have several options for meeting their math assessment requirement, including passing an EOC or passing the 11th grade Smarter Balanced assessment (SBAC). The score required for graduation on the SBAC was determined by the SBE and can be found on our Graduation Pathways Options web page.

Graduation requirements for the classes of 2019 to 2024, including required assessments or the graduation pathway options (depending on graduation year), are available on the SBE website.

Adults 21 years of age or older in high school completion programs offered through public community and technical colleges do not need to meet assessment requirements or graduation pathway options. (WAC 180-51-035).

Page last updated: June 2024