In Washington State during the 2008-09 school yer,18,197 students dropped out of high school. This
trend has remained steady over the last ten years. These figures clearly indicated the need for coordinated
prevention and intervention efforts to keep students engaged in school and on track to graduate from high
To assist students in addressing their individual barriers to graduating from high school and/or
successfully transitions from high school to continued education and careers.
The Pay for Actual Student Success (PASS) Act was passed in the 2010-11 Legislative Session to address
issues negatively impacting high school graduation rates. The PASS Act provided dedicated funding for
programs that have been successful at decreasing dropout and increasing high school graduation. It also
outlined an incentive program for schools successful in addressing dropout.
The four programs specifically reference and funded in the PASS Act include: Building Bridges
Program, Jobs for America’s Graduates Program, individual support services through the College Success
Foundation, and Opportunity Internship Program.
Additionally, using data collected through CEDARS, the PASS Act requires OSPI to generate a single
numeric dropout prevention score for each high school using the following indicators: 1) annual extended
graduation rate; 2) proportion of students at grade level; 3) student attendance; and, 4) additional dropout
indicators as needed.
If schools demonstrate improvement in its dropout prevention score, they are eligible for a PASS Program
award. The incentive program was not funded by the legislature in the 20 1 1 – 12 budget, however the
legislative sponsor is committed to working to secure funding in20l2-13. Schools and districts are
encouraged to implement dropout prevention and intervention strategies in a comprehensive and
systematic manner, using strategic planning, school improvement plans, evaluation and feedback and
Response to Intervention tools.
In addition, the PASS Act directs OSPI and the State Board of Education to adopt rules establishing a
standard definition of student absence from school based on current practices in Washington schools,
other states, national standards, as well as national centers or groups. Specifically, the K12 Data
Governance Group is charged with establishing a plan for statewide collection of attendance data using
the standard definition through CEDARS. The plan is to also address the collection of student discipline
data with a focus on suspension/expulsion in CEDARS.
For further information contact Sue Furth, OSPI Graduation Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org , (360) 725-4472, or Dave Forrester, School Counselor, Olympia High School, email@example.com , (360) 596-7032.
Information above provided by The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction: http://www.k12.wa.us