Students Fail TAKS, Move On

Fifth graders throughout Texas are being promoted to the next grade level even though they are repeatedly failing the TAKS test.

Only 20 percent of Texas fifth graders who fail the taks test multiple times are being flunked.

That's what a report from the Texas Education Agency says.  However, the Amarillo Independent School District says that's not the case here.

"What we look at is the policy that's states academically where is that child. Where have they been? how much improvement are they doing?" said Executive Director of Student Performance Pat Williams.

The law states, any fifth grader that fails the TAKS test three times will automatically be retained unless the parent appeals to the grade placement committee.

"If the student was promoted to the next grade level would he or she have the academic skills to ultimately succeed." said Janie Cooper another Director of Student Performance.

The T.E.A. report suggests retention rates are low because teachers are having a hard time retaining fifth graders because of the trauma of being left behind by their classmates. But Williams says they do what's best for the students education.

"It will be tough, it will be hard on a kid, we also know that when a youngster is retained there's a significant chance that he could drop out of school if he's not with his peers. So what we do is make every effort to build in the success so that does not happen."

AISD officials say they do that by identifying students who need help early and offer them tutoring and jump start programs to help get them to grade level.