High school graduation panels: Academic punt or fair pass? (TX)

One of the battles currently underway in Austin.

From Watchdog Arena:

Due the the struggle high school students are having passing the mandatory state academic readiness exam to graduate, a bill before the Texas Legislature offers opportunity for individualized graduation committees to determine the attainment of public high school graduation requirements.

Is this measure an academic punt, a form of social promotion to help challenged students avoid standardized exams that can prevent graduation? Or is it a credible alternative to ensure those same students have achieved the required proficiency in order to move on to graduation?

SB 149, authored by Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, seeks to allow exempt qualified seniors from passing the five end-of-course exams currently required for graduation. Instead, upon passing at least three exams along with maintaining a passing core class average, an individualized school committee would be allowed to issue a testing waiver on the remaining tests.

A committee comprising the school principal, the teacher for each end-of-course exam on which the student failed to perform satisfactorily, the student’s school counselor and the student’s parent (or person with designated parental relation standing) would review the student’s full performance history and have the ability to require additional assignments for academic areas in question.  Graduation would occur only with the committee’s unanimous approval.

Read more at Watchdog Arena.

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