Lindsay Kastner - Express-News
It was the Legislature that debated when kids could scarf down cupcakes at school with its 2005 “Cupcake Amendment.”
“While I understand that such motivational efforts are based upon a genuine concern for students, honoring students who meet the passing standard on the test may unintentionally identify students who did not meet the standard, negatively impacting them,” Scott wrote in a letter to district administrators this week.
Scott wrote that his letter was prompted by “numerous reports” in which confidential information may have been inadvertently disclosed, sometimes when rewards are offered to select groups of students.
“Northside schools do not single out individual achievement on TAKS,” spokesman Pascual Gonzalez said. “But, rather, if there are celebrations, they are schoolwide celebrations for everybody.”
Debbie Graves Ratcliffe, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, said many districts take a similar approach.
He also said it was possible districts could recognize top performers — those who reached the state's “commended” level — without flouting the law.
“It really is a violation of a federal privacy law, and they need to be mindful of this,” she said. “I'm sure nobody does this to embarrass children, they just don't stop to think that in celebrating the passage of the test they are identifying all kids as passers or failers.”