State tests do leave children behind

Published 12:01am Friday, May 18, 2012

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


Joyce Hargrave

Natchez resident

  • khakirat

    This the very thing why schools and certain universitys aren”t accredited especially in Ms. because they are passing students that can’t do simple arithmetic is whats happening in our nation!! If a student can’t pass the Ms. state test, ACT,SAT and others they don’t make the mark and the standards shouldn’t ever be lowered as it has in the past decades!! Students better get off of it for the foreigners are whipping us like a post!!! 

  • Katharine Thoresen

    Stop putting your child in cotton wool. Some children will get left behind, because they are not good enough. It is not a child’s right to graduate, they have to earn it and if new tests are what are required to stop the unqualified slipping through then so be it. There is a natural gap in nature. Some win and some lose and not everyone gets a trophy.

  • Anonymous

    Sumtimes it jist bees lak dat.

  • Anonymous

     This is so sad.  First this person whines because her daughter failed an important test but is relieved there is some “angle” by which the rules can be subverted.

    There’s your problem with the public schools right there.  The parents.  They don’t care if their kids actually learn anything they are just concerned with “self-worth”, like children themselves.

    I’ve got news for you Mrs. Hargrave.   Tests exist in real life and they are just as important, if not more so, than in school.  “Self-worth” is nothing more than false pride and doesn’t pay the bills. Worth to others pays the bills and an uneducated crybaby is worth nothing to anyone.

  • Anonymous

    hmmm i cant see that their are racist bitches commenting on this article

  • Anonymous

    KML i beg to differ i bet some of yall bitches couldnt even past this test while you trying to take up for it,and we aint back in yall old timey day yall prehistoric

  • Anonymous

    Couldn’t have said it better!

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like the tests are not the problem. Schools passing students to the next grade when they should be held back is the problem.

  • Anonymous

    What in the wide, wide world of sports would you possibly know about education?  Believe me, if your grammer, punctuation and spelling are indicitive of your other academic skills, you’ve been left behind.  Way behind.  Futhermore, you don’t “pass” the ACT or SAT.  You would know that if you had ever taken one of those exams. 

  • Anonymous

    Er…it is grammar, and indicative, and have ever taken….

  • Anonymous

    The old people wrote the tests, what now?

  • khakirat

    I don’t have to explain to you anything but I will tell you that I worked my way thru High School and college and made a 26 on my ACT score!! I was oilfield when oilfield wasn’t cool and I didn’t have to write but use a lot of Math!! These kids have got to learn that no one owes them nothing and they better get a good education or they will be past by??!!!

    In a message dated 5/19/2012 11:51:20 A.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:


    MisterRational wrote, in response to khakirat:
    What in the wide, wide world of sports would you possibly know about education? Believe me, if your grammer, punctuation and spelling are indicitive of your other academic skills, you’ve been left behind. Way behind. Futhermore, you don’t “pass” the ACT or SAT. You would know that if you had ever taken one of those exams.

    _Link to comment_ (