A Dallas Education Blog by Young Dallas Teachers
Yesterday, we talked about the potential for alternative graduation requirements in Texas, which affects Dallas ISD students. I agree that it would be troubling to start letting students side step the process by just meeting before a committee that could potentially allow them to graduate without having passed some or any of the tests. If we are going to place as much emphasis on testing as we currently do, then we have to keep that system strong. If the tests are necessary, then we shouldn't be invalidating them by making them skippable. What this highlights for me is that we aren't practicing what we preach. If we are saying that differentiating instruction is important, then we need to be differentiating assessments too for our DISD students. We've talked about differentiating instruction at length in our weekly Dallas education podcast and this is why it is so critical across the board. If attendance is important, we need to stop letting students in the Dallas education system get credit when they haven't shown up. The system is inconsistent and that's why it is struggling to produce students who are prepared and competitive. It does let the kids choose to do less. It does send the wrong signal. What do we need to do? Bring back strong vocational programs and partnerships with local Dallas businesses to give our students an opportunity to find a passion within school. Then and only then should students be given an opportunity to circumvent a STAAR and still graduate. More on that in another blog.
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