Keep graduation’s meaning
June 7, 2002
Is graduation a rite of passage or recognition of achievement? That is the debate over whether students should be allowed to walk during graduation despite failing the proficiency test.
Four Carson High School students have completed all the requirements for graduation but one — they haven’t passed their proficiency tests.
High school policy is that students who haven’t completed all the requirements for graduation can’t cross the stage at graduation.
The school’s point is that unless you’ve earned a diploma, you shouldn’t be able to participate in the graduation process.
On the other side of the coin, we’ve heard from a few parents who say they were prepared for graduation, having sent out invitations, received gifts, purchased caps and gowns only to be thwarted by the proficiency test.
Only a handful of students, who completed all their other requirements, have not participated in graduation because of the proficiency exams.
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We support the school district’s policy of not allowing students to participate in high school graduation until they’ve completed high school, whether that is because of the proficiency test or because a student hasn’t completed all the needed classes.
The one rub to all this is that the school’s math curriculum does not quite match that in the proficiency test.
The school district is in the process of adjusting the math curriculum, something that we feel will head off any excuses.
Graduation is not just an empty ceremony, it’s about achievement. The people who have their names read out and cross the stage to shake the principal’s hand have accomplished something in their lives and are ready to move on.
Students need to earn the right to don cap and gown at graduation. Otherwise the ceremony is meaningless.
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