A Look At School Districts On TAKS Tests and Graduation - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/17/07-East Texas

A Look At School Districts On TAKS Tests and Graduation

To walk or not to walk...that's the question facing school districts around East Texas this graduation season.   By state law, seniors who do not pass the TAKS test are not allowed to graduate. However, it's up to the school district to decide if those students will be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.

High school graduation is one of life's biggest accomplishments, something that represents a lot of hard work.

"The students who do pass everything, do everything they're required to do to graduate are kind of being rewarded for doing that and if you have students who are failing classes, not passing TAKS test, they're walking across stage receiving their diploma it's an almost issue that's not fair to some of those students," says Brian Bowman, an LISD 

Longview ISD says if a senior doesn't pass the TAKS, they can't graduate or participate in the ceremony.  But some Longview students see the ceremony a little differently.

"These seniors have worked their entire school year, their entire high school career and they're not going to be able to walk with their class and it's not like they can get a second chance to do it," says Amber Vann, a Longview High School senior.

"I've taken the test three times before I passed it and I just feel they should be able to walk, we deserve it, one test shouldn't determine whether we get to do something that we've dreamed about our whole lives," says Ladana Moore, a Longview High School senior

And every parent we spoke with around town felt the same way. 

'To me more weight should be placed on their academic achievement through their coursework rather than one test," says Larry Knutson.

"I feel like if you worked all that time you know trying to get through school and for one test not go the way it should have, it's not right," says Keyanna Rawls.

Currently Pine Tree High School's policy is to not allow seniors who fail the TAKS test to participate in graduation; however, tomorrow morning they are evaluating their policy and may consider a change, allowing them to walk. 

We found one school district that already has that as their policy--Kilgore High School. 

"We just feel like as a district if they've put in 12 years or in some cases 13 if you started in Kindergarten with us and you've met all those requirements that you and the family deserve to have ceremony," says Principal Bobby Wheeley. 

He says parents have spent lots of time and money preparing for graduation and it should not come down to one test.

The TAKS test will offered again in July for students to earn their diploma.

Tracy Watler, Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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