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State tests do leave children behind

I reside in Natchez, and I am the parent of a 2012 senior who did not pass her state test.

The Natchez-Adams County school district needs to stop using the quote “No child left behind.”

Our state leadership decided all seniors must pass a series of Subject Area Tests before graduating. If they fail to pass the exam, they are left behind.

What is so alarming about this exam is that your child may be an honor roll student or a student passing all the courses required to become a 12th grader, yet fail to graduate because he/she does not pass this exam.

Failure to pass this exam means your child will not be allowed to graduate.

Not allowing a child to graduate with his/her class can be devastating to that child.

It can have a long-term effect on their self-worth.

Even colleges allow students to walk with their class before completing all requirements, with the stipulation that the coursework be completed during the summer. Once completed, the diploma is received.

However, high school students are required to meet the payment deadline for cap and gowns, asked to fill out forms for their diploma and often take senior pictures before they even know if they will graduate.

The school should not do this to our children because this is very misleading to the child.

Moreover, it only serves to build them up, and then tear them down later, especially if they fail these exams months later.

Specifically, Natchez High seniors received their final notification of whether or not they would graduate on Friday, May 4.

On Monday, May 7, just three days later, those students failing the exam were asked to retest.

Can you imagine the stress these students experienced? To be told you are a failure one day and be tested, with the same exam, just three days later would be stressing and depressing to anyone.

We as parents know how hard it is to even keep a child in school, and now imagine how much harder it is to explain to your child that all his/her hard work was in vain.

I am now I asking our community, especially parents of children who have experienced this, to speak up and out about these state exams so that our future children won’t be left behind.

Lastly, to the students who have fallen into this situation, I have a few words of comfort and encouragement for you all.

Always remember that what does not kill you, will only make you a stronger and better person.

Now, do your part to show the state school officials how determined you are to get your diploma and achieve you lifelong dreams.

There is always hope! We have found a solution for those who failed the state exit exam, you can still get your high school diploma and attend college fall 2012.

I have the contact information. Feel free to contact at joycesewell10@yahoo.com.


Joyce Hargrave

Natchez resident