Graduation policy falls under fire
By LPR Staff
Parents and students once again approached the Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday asking for the district policy on students “walking” at graduation to be changed.
Two parents and one student came forward to request that students who have not passed all segments of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills
Test to “walk the stage” with their classmates.
Current board policy mandates that students who have not passed the test are not allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies. While this policy is allowed by the State of Texas, it is not required, and some districts allow their seniors to walk the stage and receive a “certificate of completion.” No student may receive a diploma without first passing the Exit-Level TAKS test, under state law.
“These are good kids, who have worked hard for 13 years and have filled all their other requirements,” said parent Danna Crider, whose son, despite having passed all his classes and even earned a scholarship, has not passed the Exit-Level TAKS test. “This is heartbreaking for us, as parents, and for our kids to go through.”
Senior Samantha Raymor, who said she has passed the test, told the Board she believes her classmates would rather have the failing students walk than not.
“If it’s a question of whether or not it’s fair to the students who have passed, I can assure you that most of the student population won’t mind,” she said. She offered, with the applause and support of her peers, to present a petition from the senior class in support of allowing the students to walk, if necessary.
According to Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum James Rabe, 26 seniors have not yet completed their TAKS requirements.
Because the graduation policy was not on the agenda for review, the trustees could not legally address the issue. However, Trustees Susan K. Brooks and John Manning later expressed, during the “Board Comments” portion of the meeting, they are not interested in revisiting the policy at this time.
In other news, Rabe reported to the trustees that LISD is within striking distance of becoming a “Recognized School District,” based on preliminary results of this year’s TAKS testing.
Rabe said, according to his preliminary figures, gathered earlier this week, that most campuses should fall into the “recognized” range this year, with LHS still lagging in scoring, but showing an upturn.
“Our goal with the high school was to get the scores turned around within a three- to five-year time frame, and we’re on target to do just that,” Rabe said.
A more comprehensive review of the results will be available at a later time, he said, after he has had the opportunity to review the results thoroughly.