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graduation

Lanier High School Class of 2020 file into Alamo Stadium June 15 for their graduation ceremony.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

Graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 have been turned on their heads due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but several San Antonio school districts have managed to host in-person ceremonies this month.

It’s been a season of disappointment for millions of high school and college seniors. In addition to the sudden cancelation of classes, sports and senior celebrations, many will forgo the traditional graduation for online or postponed ceremonies.

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The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted many important milestones, including traditional graduations. Instead of walking the stage in a stadium or auditorium filled to the brim with friends and family, 2020 graduates are attending virtual, curbside and limited attendance ceremonies and celebrations.

 


Vice President Mike Pence addressed the cadets in person, but parents and others were limited to watching the ceremony online.

"Graduation Caps"
John Walker | http://bit.ly/2oIkGSU / Flickr Creative Commons

Almost 950 students graduated from Texas A&M University-San Antonio Friday afternoon. More than 5,100 students will walk the stage to celebrate earning their degrees from the University of Texas at San Antonio this weekend.

Ranad Humeidi moved to San Antonio when she was in high school to escape the Syrian civil war. She found a home in the UTSA science labs.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

Updated 12:26 p.m. May 14

Ranad Humeidi found a home in the science labs at the University of Texas at San Antonio after moving here her senior year of high school to escape the Syrian civil war.

She graduates Saturday with a bachelor’s degree in biology.


In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama had some sure-fire applause lines: "More of our kids are graduating than ever before" and "Our high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high."

Which raised some interesting questions: "Is that really true?" and "Why?" and "How do we know?" and "So what?"

A seed was planted that grew into our project this week examining that number. Our reporting shows many of the individual stories behind a single statistic: 81 percent, the current U.S. graduation rate.

Officially, the U.S. has a high school graduation rate of 81 percent — a historic high.

But our months-long investigation, in partnership with reporters at 14 member stations, reveals that this number should be taken with a big grain of salt. We found states, cities and districts pursuing a range of strategies to improve the grad rate:

Joey Palacios / TPR News

AUSTIN — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has signed a bill that would allow Texas high school students to fail two high-stakes exams and still graduate. It is effective immediately.

Abbott said Monday that the state “must protect” students from what he called evolving testing standards. “While it is critical that the state appropriately holds public schools and districts accountable for delivering the best possible education, we must protect Texas students from being penalized as a result of evolving testing standards,” he said in a statement. 

About 28,000 students in the class of 2015 still must pass one or more of the five state exams in U.S. history, biology, algebra I, English I and English II required to graduate. Of those who need to retake exams, about half must retake more than one.

The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever

May 11, 2015

It's getting to be that time of the year when students wipe tears from watery eyes, exchange final goodbyes and throw their graduation caps into the sky. In other words, it's graduation season — and that also means the season of commencement speeches.

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