Education is the foundation of one’s success in life. This is not to say that some people won’t inevitably succeed without some type of education, but I firmly believe it’s the events in school that shape us into the people we are going to become. We form our work habits and ethics during these years. One part of school that stinks is standardized testing. I believe they need to do some form of testing, but I think most systems in place lend themselves well to teachers teaching the test and not teaching the student. That being said, these types of tests are not going anywhere, and furthermore they are not that tough.

Enter Fort Worth, a place that I have visited, but am not too familiar with. The aforementioned standard text in Texas is now called the TAKS test. The test I took in school was called the TAAS, but I am assured it’s essentially the same thing. Students in Forth Worth were up in arms a few weeks ago because the State of Texas requires a student to successfully pass the TAKS before they can graduate from High School. This is not an unreasonable request. Many students in the Fort Worth area, 613 to be exact, that were slated to graduate, are being denied the ability to “walk the stage” with their fellow classmates. This is also not an unreasonable thing. Not graduating, not walking the stage. The students were given many chances to pass this test throughout their HS tenure and failed each time. They are now being given one more chance during the summer to pass the test. If done, they will have a special commencement ceremony at the end of the summer.

I honestly find no fault with what the school district is doing. After all, who says these kids will successfully pass the test this time after numerous previous failures? The article online at Fort Worth’s WFAA website is full of lots of insight into the quality of these students.

Crystal Martinez complained that while she finished at the top of her class with a 3.5 grade point average, she is now blocked from graduation by failing the TAKS test.

“We know we’re not going to get our diplomas, but we just want to walk across the stage,” Martinez said. “That’s all we ask for right now.”

A 3.5 GPA and you can’t pass a simple test? So either this girl is cheating her ass off in HS, or the system somehow awarded her a high GPA, but failed to actually teach her anything at all.  Another great quote is this one:

Classmate Chloe Walker agreed. “I believe that I have at least the right to walk the stage with all my friends,” she said. “I made it this far, and I have all my credits I need. I deserve to get my certificate of completion.”

You deserve to almost get your diploma. After all, you failed to complete ALL of the state requirements for HS graduation. Is this a difficult concept for these kids to grasp?

I think perhaps the greatest single part of the article was the lone image they included. I’ll post it and see if you can find anything wrong with it and then I’ll post the highlighted version. Here we go:

Do you see anything? No?

Are you sure?

Look again….

Oh, they must have missed that day in English class. It’s not “Let are kids walk”, it’s “Let OUR kids walk”. So sorry. I am guessing this is the mother of one of the students.

The worst part is that I really hate to pile on these people, but I just don’t understand why they should be exempt from the rules. I guess it all goes back to the lack of personal responsibility in this nation. It’s just sad and pathetic. Hopefully a small chunk of those kids remember that they should spend the summer studying for this test and not just blow it off and then complain later that it was unfair or something.