Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Americas HS Parents Challenge No Pass, No Walk Policy

Check out the video clip of parent's speaking out .


Monica Balderrama-KFOX News Reporter
May 20, 2009

EL PASO, Texas -- It's been a battle between parents and administrators when it comes to the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test results and walking during graduation.

But the battle brewing at Americas High School has more to do with what students say one administrator told them.

Johnny Martinez found out his daughter will not walk in her graduation because she didn't pass the TAKS test. The state policy is that if a student doesn't pass the TAKS, the student doesn't walk during graduation. But Martinez said the Americas assistant principal told his daughter and other students the opposite.

"She said, 'Kids, don't worry about it, if you don't pass the test, you'll still be able to walk,'" said Martinez.

Martinez said he believes his daughter was lied to.

"I don't have a problem with policy. What I have a problem with is kids being lied to by an individual with authority. What kind of an example are we setting for the kids?" said Martinez.

That's the same story we heard from another parent, Leticia Dunn.

"Mrs. Ochoa has mentioned to the students that even if they didn't pass the TAKS test they were going to be allowed to walk and maybe complete the test later on," said Dunn.

Both parents, Martinez and Dunn talked to school and district administrators but to no avail. They said the assistant principal told the students inaccurate information and went back on her word.

"Who is the one that told them that they were going to be able to walk if they didn't pass. She said, 'I don't know where they got that from.' She went backwards on what she had told the students," said Dunn.

Socorro Independent School District spokeswoman said it was a misunderstanding. The assistant principal told the students they were still going to receive a diploma even if they didn't pass the TAKS. The students will still have to go through an intense tutoring program in the summer to try and pass the TAKS test.

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