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Edmonds School District

CTE Pathways

Career and Technical Education graduation pathways

Posted on 01/19/2021

The following is provided by the Career and Technical Education Media Connections Team. Ritika Khanal, a junior at Mountlake Terrace high school, interviewed State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal and wrote the article. Jessica Suiter, a 2021 graduate from Meadowdale High School, recorded and edited the video.

When he became an elected official, one of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal’s main priorities was creating more pathways for students to ensure postsecondary success that didn’t narrow around state testing or simply collecting credit. Having been a schoolteacher, a member of the School Board and a community college instructor, Reykdal saw a need for change. House Bill 1599 aims to do just that.

Reykdal noticed the education system shifting to prepare all students for entrance into a four-year college, and he knew that model wouldn’t work for everyone.  “My father remodelled homes, one of my siblings was a machinist at Boeing and another was a long-term caregiver,” he said. “They had the sustainable skills they needed to be successful, and they didn’t need a degree to do it.”

“We want students to increasingly make a determination after tenth grade as to what they may want to do and be super intensive in credits their junior and senior years so they don’t leave with just a few credits, but also add momentum and industry recognized credentials,” Reykdal said.  “Courses also need to be designed with subjects such as ELA, Math and Science in mind.  There certainly needs to be core understanding of quantitative reasoning skills.  We want our students to be great communicators and critical thinkers. If you go into welding, you have to understand chemistry, and if you are a carpenter, you are doing Geometry. It's just about doing those traditional subjects in a context that makes sense to the student.”

“Recent changes in state graduation requirements under House Bill 1599 now allows students to meet state Math and English/Language Arts testing requirements by completing two credits within an approved CTE Pathway relating to their career interests and goals,” Mark Madison, Edmonds SD College and Career Readiness Director said.   All students are required to explore and identify career interests and to complete a High School and Beyond Plan. They can then follow the Edmonds SD CTE Pathway that best fits their goals.  Students can demonstrate college and career readiness through the successful completion of a CTE pathway rather than the state testing in Math or ELA. 

“For me, this bill is recognition of something we all have known for a long time,” Madison said. “No one size fits all, and training for a career is just as valuable as training for an entrance into a four-year college.”

For more information about CTE Graduation Pathways options view this link on the CTE Website: