An Open Letter to the Mukilteo School Board: Sometimes Doing the Right Thing Means Breaking the Rules and Allowing Kids to Walk in Graduation with Their Peers.


Dear Mukilteo School Board members,

Over the two weeks before our district graduations, I wrote and implored you to allow students who have not yet met standards via these tests to be allowed at graduation. This was not the first time this issue has been placed before you and as you have previously chosen to do, you neglected to do what was right by kids.

You used the last opportunity that you had to shame them. You should be ashamed of your inability to see beyond the board policy you quoted me. You should be ashamed that you failed the kids in this district that we have all worked to educate and to support.

You knew their stories: a young foster child who had been in nearly 30 homes in four years, or a recent immigrant with a GPA over 3.0. Students who have met every credit requirement, who have shown the ability to persevere, to grow, to engage in their school community, to become young adults ready to take the next step of their lives.

You have stolen their rite of passage.

We advocated for them. We explained to you that this would happen. We showed you the evidence of this impending legislation. We reminded you that you have done this before.

You choose to remain unmoved. You chose to be callous rather than to show compassion. You showed these young adults that, in the end, the education system does not care for them as people.

You should be ashamed.

But I know you’re not.


One comment

  1. Young lives destroyed before they get out of high school. Our society destroyed due to the value placed on a test score. What do we do about this?? I understand that the new Superintendent of Public Instruction who campaign-promised to end the practice of keeping young people from receiving a diploma due to standardized test scores is now changing his tune. What do we do? These are promising, persistent, resilient, optimistic young people that a flippin’ test is determining a future for – and it is not a bright, deserving future. These kids did everything necessary to the end of their senior year, except pass a test that, seriously, has no place in our schools.

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