Addition to RISD graduation policy would expand leniency for students

December 20, 2013 • Local News

The Roswell Independent School District Board of Education conducted a first reading of an addition to the district’s high school graduation policy during a special meeting Friday.

The proposed addition outlines the means through which a student who fails any required state-created end of course exam may demonstrate competency in the subject of the failed test.

It follows recent policy changes meant to allow students more opportunities to meet graduation requirements.

“This applies to the kids out there who generally do struggle” with standardized testing, Superintendent Tom Burris [auth] said in an interview Wednesday.

He said multiple factors might cause a student to fail a standardized test, including test-taking anxiety, personal issues or being hungry at the time of the test.

The proposal would allow those who fail EOC tests to present a portfolio of work pertaining to the subject area to a board of teachers and administrators.

Provided the student passes the class related to the subject in question, school staff may decide he or she has met the demand of showing proficiency in the subject.

Students are required to show proficiency in reading, math, writing, science and social studies in order to graduate.

The board is instating changes to graduation requirements in response to the New Mexico Public Education Department delaying implementation of statewide graduation standards.

District policy amendments passed by the board earlier this month allow students to substitute failing scores on standardized tests with alternative demonstrations of competency.

The recent changes mean that students who fail a subject test in the state’s Standards Based Assessment test are now allowed to substitute a passing score on the EOC test of the same subject.

Friday’s proposed amendment would extend policy changes by allowing students to possibly bypass failing EOC scores.

District principals say it is too soon to predict the impact of the possible policy augmentation.

Goddard High School Principal Brian Luck said after the meeting that the new change is “worth looking into.”

No action was taken on the item Friday. The board will vote on the addition after a second reading.

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