More than 1,600 seniors will walk across the stage at the United Spirit Arena and receive their diplomas. But six seniors won't be walking this weekend. They passed their classes, they just couldn't pass the exit exam.
"They've had multiple opportunities to pass all three levels," says LISD Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Fred Hardin. Dr. Hardin isn't making excuses for the six seniors who aren't graduating. He says these students have had seven, sometimes eight chances to pass the TAAS test. Something hundreds of their peers were able to do in one try. "If you look at it from a percentage standpoint, we're graduating well over 1,600 students, and six is a pretty low number. Unless you're one of the six," says Hardin.
This weekend, 525 seniors will graduate from Lubbock High, 477 from Coronado, 463 from Monterey and 178 from Estacado. That's a total of 1,643 grads. Only six couldn't pass the TAAS. That's a scant .37% of all seniors, or 1 in 275. A number the LISD feels good about, despite having compassion for those six who didn't pass.
But Hardin says the LISD won't give up on those kids. They'll each go through a 10 day program in July and then retake the test. "Once they pass that test, they'll be awarded their diploma," says Hardin.