House of Education rejects BESE’s graduation appeals policy

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The House Education Committee rejected BESE’s graduation appeals policy in an eight to three vote on Thursday. The proposal would give seniors an appeals option if they do not pass the LEAP exit exam. State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley believes the appeals process is bad policy for Louisiana…

“Now it’s my job to implement the approved policy of the board. But this is not final rule yet. And so while this is not final rule, I continue to speak out that this is not the right public policy for the state of Louisiana.”

The policy was originally passed by BESE in June. There are eight states that require the passage of a standardized test to graduate and Louisiana is the only one that does not offer an appeals requirement.

U-S Senator John Kennedy also opposed the policy. The junior senator taped a video message for the committee and says the policy waters down graduation standards.

“And I think it’s an admission that we failed. It’s an admission that every child can’t learn. Some need extra points credit and I just think that’s a huge mistake.”

Louisiana Federation of Teachers Legislative Director Cynthia Posey spoke in favor of the appeals process. She says currently the state does not meet every student where they are.

“If we do not solve this issue, Louisiana will be the only state in the nation that would deny a high school senior a diploma because they do not have the right for the opportunity to have an alternate way to demonstrate competency.”

The Committee has four days to send its report to Governor John Bel Edwards for review. Edwards would have 10 days to approve or disapprove. New BESE members will be sworn in in January and the state’s highest education board will take another at this proposed policy that would allow for appeals.

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