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Superintendent addresses value of Duncanville High School diploma

Dr. Alfred Ray, Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Alfred Ray, Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Alfred Ray, Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Alfred Ray, Superintendent of Schools

This is a copy of Superintendent Dr. Alfred Ray’s blog addressing statements made in the Suburban Newspaper recently. We felt this was important to share with the community and the high school community

From Dr. Ray:

The Value of a Duncanville High School Diploma

First and foremost, let’s set the record straight about a question Suburban Newspaper readers have apparently asked: Has the Texas Education Agency informed Duncanville High School that the school may lose their certification for diplomas? Absolutely not. Duncanville High School, and the district, is in good standing with Texas Education Agency. Duncanville graduates continue now and will continue well into the future to earn diplomas that afford them many opportunities and prepare them for life in the 21st century.

Duncanville has long set high expectations for students, which is evident in the 28.5 credit graduation requirement at DHS, compared to the 26 required by the state and majority of Texas high schools. Within those credits is the requirement for students to complete 40 hours of community service.

Together, the schools and community have placed great value on educating the whole child, from the basics of math, reading, science and social studies to career exploration, civic responsibility, athletics and fine arts. The opportunities offered at Duncanville High School are enormous. Graduates prove it day after day through their success as doctors, scientists, business professionals, Oxford alumni and more.

Earlier this year, we spent time trying to explain the new state of Texas accountability and rating system. We stated our belief that it should be more meaningful and comprehensive, and that what the Education Commissioner had put into place was like making soup out of whatever items were in your pantry. During that time we informed our community that the Texas Education Agency had rated Duncanville and at least 29 other districts as “Improvement Required” based upon the number of students, who back in 2012, graduated with four years of English, four years of social studies, three years of math, and three years of science.

Despite the fact that the state legislature approved these students as high school graduates, the Commissioner has arbitrarily determined that a percentage of graduates must have four years of math and science – devaluing the students who took three years in these two subject areas.

We stated then and we maintain that we are proud that the class of 2012 is the largest graduating class in the history of Duncanville ISD with 802 graduates. And yes, every single one of those students was approved to graduate under the state’s plan. The state’s accountability system is both difficult to explain to our community and at the same time is unnecessarily burdensome on Texas students. It doesn’t make sense to place a “label” or “rating” on our district in 2013 based on sound policy decisions (put into place in 2009) that were made in the best interest of students and their needs.

That being said, Duncanville High School is not losing its accreditation. Such statements are simply inaccurate. A student’s Duncanville High School diploma has great value and opens many doors of opportunity for our graduates. We’re very proud of all our programs and, more importantly, all of our students.

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