Editor’s Note: TxEdRights wishes to thank TTAAS member Jeff Cranmore for contributing this guide for students who were denied a high school diploma due to pre-STAAR testing requirements. This guide will help TAKS/TAAS students who completed their credits but did not pass one or more exit exams navigate the process to a high school diploma.
By Jeff Cranmore
Several people have asked how the Individual Graduation Committee (IGC) works for older students. I wanted to put together some information for anyone trying to go through this process. I will also include the corresponding laws to reference. According to Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §74.1027, a school may issue a diploma to students that:
(1) entered Grade 9 before the 2011-2012 school year;
(2) successfully completed the curriculum requirements for high school graduation applicable to the individual when the individual entered Grade 9;
(3) has not performed satisfactorily on an assessment instrument or a part of an assessment instrument required for high school graduation, including an alternate assessment instrument offered under TEC, §39.025(c-2);
(4) has been administered at least three times the required subject-areas test(s), including an alternate assessment as specified in paragraph (3) of this subsection, for which the individual has not performed satisfactorily on the exit-level assessment instrument applicable to the individual when the individual entered Grade 9; and
(5) meets the alternative requirements for graduation in accordance with subsection (c) of this section or the local alternative requirements approved by the board of trustees in accordance with subsection (d) of this section.
Here is the link to the actual wording of the TAC
Here is a link to the FAQ’s
What does this all mean?
If you completed all of your credits but were denied your diploma due to not passing a state test (TAKS, TAAS, etc.…) then you can petition the school to look at your transcript and award you your diploma.
A few things- you must have all of your credits, and you must have attempted the assessment at least three times. If you did not, you can take one of the state approved assessments and either pass, or if not, it can be counted toward the total number of times.
This is me, now what?
There are a few ways to meet the requirements, but I will focus on the three that have been very successful
According to TEA, these are ways you are eligible.
- Meeting the performance standard on an alternate assessment as specified in TAC §101.4003
- Performing satisfactorily on the subject-area test of a state-approved high school equivalency examination in accordance with TAC §89.43(a)(4)
- Attainment of a TEA-approved industry-recognized postsecondary license or certification
- Active-duty service in the armed forces or an honorable or general discharge from the armed forces
- Successful completion of college-level coursework resulting in college credit
- Additional alternative requirements developed by the district and approved by the school district board of trustees
Based on these criteria, I want to focus on the three that do not require you taking a test.
- If you have active duty service- done
- You can complete a college level course. With this one, it must be an on level credit (so developmental math, or a community based enrichment course in photography does not count). I have had former students take a 1.0 credit in PE and used that several times.
- The last one is an Industry Approved Certification. This may be something that many of you already have. I have had former students that work as a Certified Nurses Aid, or have the Safe Serve Food Manger certification. A copy of that, and you are done! I am including a link to all of the certification, but if you do not have any, I wanted to point out this one: The Google Analyst for Beginners. (https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6089828?hl=en&ref_topic=6089827) It is free, and you can retake it once a day until you pass it. Here is a link to all of Industry Approved Certifications.
Once you have completed one of the alternatives, you can ask the school to call the IGC to review, and it can replace any missing state assessment. After that, you should be good to go, and able to get your diploma. Please feel free to share this with anyone that may apply.
As of right now, the rule is set to expire on September 1, 2023, so the sooner you apply the better. I would also suggest that you reach out to your representatives and ask them to extend or make these rules permanent.