Letter to the Editor: Thank You for Lincoln High School Support

Alex Brott

Thank you, Whitman College, for inviting Lincoln High School to come to Maxey Hall and share about our trauma-sensitive model. We appreciate all the Whitman students that have come to Lincoln to volunteer as well as those choosing Lincoln for senior projects.
I know you have a very busy testing schedule coming up, and that will take a lot of hours of studying and focus. When you get some breathing room, we sure could use some advocacy for 16,000 Washington seniors that are on track to graduate, have met all graduation requirements, have passed 2/3 state standards, but struggle with math and abstract concepts. These students that do not pass the state math exam will be denied their high school diploma and forced to drop out by the state.
This is one of the most punitive policies I have ever seen come through Olympia. There is no research that can support that if you fail [algebra], it is a predictor that you will fail at life. However, we know that each high school dropout costs the tax payer $292,000 over their lifetime. I had a student break down in my office yesterday and shared that she could hardly handle all the stress in her life. She went on to share that she is all stressed out about passing the state math exam. She not only has that anxiety to deal with, but she is homeless as well. Many need your help and compassion to write our legislators and let them know you don’t allow a student to run the whole race and then pluck their diploma out of their hands.
Good luck on your upcoming exams, and thank you for your outreach to Lincoln.
Sincerely, Jim Sporleder