During Public Comment at the May 21 School Board meeting, a mother appeared to complain about the fact that her son would not be allowed to walk in the graduation ceremony for his high school, because the results of the latest round of exit exams won’t be known until after the graduation ceremony. Our school district is unusual in requiring passage of the exit exam and not just completion of the requirements for graduation.

I have written before about the history of this posturing by our School Board on this issue. I actually support trying the exit exam as a requirement for receiving a diploma. In fact, I think the requirement should be extended to private schools for fairness and to get information on comparative student achievement in all schools. What I don’t believe in is using the graduation ceremony as a way to rub things in. Students who fulfill the requirements for graduation are graduating with or without a diploma. In some cases, the students who are being banned from graduation ceremonies missed the exit exam threshold by a few points and may very well pass it in the last round of exams.