I am once again, frustrated by the ‘system’ that exists within our educational system.

Back in August, my son received his schedule for high school. And it was wrong.

My son was supposed to take Financial Literacy (a graduation requirement) and it was taken from him. In its place – Team Sports and Remedial English. We were told this was because he had failed his English HSA by NINE points.

The State of MD requires that students pass all 3 HSA exams (Biology, English, and Algbra) OR have a combined score of 1208 (composite score) to fulfill the graduation requirement. (See:  http://hsaexam.org/img/HSA_Top_10_July2011.pdf )

My son’s high school apparently has ‘higher standards’ and they insist on my son retaking the HSA. Back in Aug/Sept my son argued that he needed to take the Financial Literacy class and not have this ridiculousness on his schedule. They begrudgingly agreed to put him back into the FL class.

That was…..until the last day of the first quarter when he was asked to come down to the Guidance Dept. They told him that he would be put back into remediation. This meant that the entire first quarter’s grades from the FL class would not count (and he has a 95%).

My son insisted that I be called.

After a day of phone calls, I got a call from the principal that he would place my son back into the FL class and to meet with him and the remediation instructor that afternoon.

So, I meet with them and we are then told, that since my son did not retake the HSA, he would be pulled from Vo-Tech. My son and I are flabbergasted because this means he would have to fit in another math, science as well as two semesters of spanish (which my son has had trouble passing prior). Suffice it to say, we left that meeting pretty angry.

We discussed all aspects of this later that evening and decided that without Vo-Tech, there was no use of sending him the last year of school. We would withdraw him.

So, Friday I kept him home from school. I called the registrars office to make the appointment.

I picked up my son and headed for the school. We met with the guidance counselor and his PPW. My son informed him of the reasons he wanted to drop out of school. We were told less than 5 minutes later, that the principal FINALLY agreed to my sons refusal to retake a test, he did not need to retake, based on the composite score.

I, on one hand, think that this is a HUGE win for my son. BUT, on the other hand, think that the administration puts too much emphasis on test scores. We were made to feel that my son couldnt read or write based on failing a test by NINE points. My son should not have had to hear the administrators put him down like this. His actual teachers could not do anything for him – their hands were tied because of an administration that focuses primarily on test score results.

And the most crazy part of it all? The principal didnt care about the State of MD composite or my son knowing that it existed, UNTIL we went in to withdraw him from the school –  DESPITE our informing him since August.

You wonder whats wrong with kids today? School administrators who have no hand in our childrens education EXCEPT to make them feel like their stupid.

So parents, make sure your children know their rights. And dont let anyone take those rights away from them.

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