Did Your Child Fail STAAR?

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How Does a child who is honored for her grades throughout the year and then fails the STAAR Test?

How Can Honor Roll Students Fail the STAAR?

The answer to this question is easy, what kids are being taught and how they are taught doesn’t prepare them for the state tests called STAARs.
I know Texas teachers whose students do not fail the STAAR tests. This is because these teachers are allowed to teach, the principal supports them as do parents.
Teachers in CSCOPE schools do not have support from their administration. If they did, the school would not be forcing these educators to use CSCOPE.
Teachers in CSCOPE schools do not have enough support from parents. If they did, the school would not have CSCOPE because most parents want their children to go to school to learn from an educated instructor–not from other students.
In some CSCOPE schools, parents have been lulled into thinking all is well. Parents whose children are on the honor roll year after year feel confident that their children are receiving a good education. It’s only when an honor roll student fails the STAAR that parents are alerted to something being wrong.
Imagine that your child who has never failed and makes the honor roll every year is told that she will have to repeat a subject she failed.  No, she hasn’t failed in her class work, instead she has an “A” for the school year, but failed the STAAR test. As a parent, you are confident there has to be an error. You zip to the school to get the records straight only to discover there was no error. No, social studies STAAR cannot be retaken. Yes, your child will have to repeat social studies, the same course that she earned an “A” in her classwork. All the praise for being an honor roll student –what was that all about? Does the STAAR fail kids, yet they are considered honor students?
Yes, this happened and it has happened to many children over the years. But, since CSCOPE has come on the scene more students pass classwork and fail the STAAR. This is because the CSCOPE lessons do not prepare students for a fact based test, such as STAAR. CSCOPE is a progressive instruction material which promotes opinions, project based instructions that depend on what is referred to as a jig-saw production of work. This means that students work in groups and each is expected to contribute 100%. With each students contribution, all the jig-saw pieces fit and voila’ the results is that the kids all learn from each other. The group discovers facts that are relevant to them. In project learning, right or wrong answers are not the goal, instead its that students are becoming socially and emotionally intelligent. Learning facts is a side-effect.
Your child’s class grade may be more of an assessment of how social your child is. How emotionally balanced the teacher thinks your child is. But these are not measured by the STAAR tests. In fact, another teacher might have a different opinion of your child’s social and emotional intelligence.
Is your administration aware that CSCOPE doesn’t prepare your child to pass fact based tests? Yes. One might think that administrators purchasing CSCOPE do not want their students to do well on the state tests. The thought that school superintendents want their students to fail the STAAR is ludicrous. But why are superintendents fighting to keep CSCOPE in their schools if they know it doesn’t prepare kids for the STAAR?
I have been trying to figure this out and have more questions than answers. Maybe you can help me.
1. Both TASA and the ESCs support progressive, project based instruction where kids discover answers with no definitive right or wrong solution.
2. Superintendents and school board members across Texas send as much as $50 million dollars of school taxes each year to support their own private professional organizations (TASA and TASB).
3. CSCOPE is a progressive, project based instruction material.
4. School superintendents are very transient, moving from one school district to another. This disrupts the school process to have a new leader every 3 to 5 years. Why are they making these moves? Some superintendents are leaving large schools with high salaries to take positions in failing schools with a lower salary.
5. FAILING SCHOOLS GET MORE MONEY! Schools who do poorly on the state tests receive more funding. Minority schools receive more funding. Failing minority schools really receive more funding. How has this been helping? 
6. The ESCs with failing schools in their region receive more money to create and produce programs for these schools. How has this been helping? The Legislature allowed the CSCOPE directors to bargain out of being evaluated in 2014. In other words, the CSCOPE directors agreed to delete the CSCOPE lessons for every subject K-12 to have the evaluation of the ESCs postponed until 2019. This gives all 20 ESCs five years to cover up the fact that they took $100 million dollars in 2009-2012 (Rider 42 grant) for the purpose writing and presenting TEKS clarifications and examples of developing TEKS aligned lessons for teachers K-12. What did the 20 ESCs do with this money? The materials they created do not meet the objective described by the grant. The 20 ESCs did not even advertise the workshops for the material they did create. Why? What did they do with these millions of dollars? 
Another part of the Rider 42 grant is for –have you guessed–its to prepare materials for Failing Schools.
Since the CSCOPE directors gave up the CSCOPE lessons in exchange for postponing the evaluation of the ESCs, unless the governor vetoes the bill allowing this extension, you might be seeing more failing schools in our future. After all, when it comes to education, it pays to fail.
Failing schools also result in the 20 ESCs receiving more grant money to prepare special programs for these failing schools. 
So if your child failed the STAAR test, expect to be offered before and after school as well as summer tutoring for your child. In some schools, government programs bring in ipads and laptops. Just know that your child’s failure will bring more money to be wasted by the ESCs and your school districts. What is your school district and the ESCs doing with all this money that is suppose to be improving the education of your child?
Even though failure means your school will have more tutoring programs, your child is still labeled as a failure. Know that every tiny tidbit of information about your child is being collected in a data base and social and emotional intellect is very important. Does your child take any kind of medication–yep! into your child’s data base. Children who at the strong recommendation of the school are given Ritalin may not be able to get certain jobs in the future. Ritalin is a mind altering drug. Is your child labeled as being dyslexic because he/she cannot read? Who wants to hire someone who cannot read well? I do so wish I was totally wrong about this, but I am not. Ask your school if student information is being kept in a data base outside the school.
The bottom line is that I advise you not to let your child be labeled a failure due to one test. One parent questioned the school about her honor roll child failing STAAR social studies. The child was scheduled to repeat this course in 2013-2014. The parent requested to view all class grades as well as the STAAR test. Soon after this request, the administration reported that there has been an error, the child had not failed the STAAR after all. My guess is that the child’s grade on the STAAR test had not changed. What changed was the schools policy. CSCOPE schools know the  CSCOPE social studies lessons and assessments used to teach the students have been shown to be incorrect, biased, anti-American, etc…… I think that honor roll students would be more likely to fail the STAAR when taught with CSCOPE lessons. This is because these kids will make every effort to learn the incorrect information, thinking it to be true. CSCOPE teachers forced to use the CSCOPE lessons and assessments are teaching biased opinions that are not tested on the STAAR.
Parents, while the CSCOPE lessons are said to be removed–Don’t count on it. The CSCOPE directors say more than they do. Please get involved and find out what will be taught to your children in 2013-2014. Insist on having textbooks.
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  1. Lindsay Baswell says:

    My child has help for her tests and still failed why are my kids that have a learning problem taken the same test as everyone else ??? How can u place my children in the same category as the regular or smart kids to take the exact test !!! That is wrong my children are not like everyone else !!! Why have they been changed anyway ????? The teachers around here or from what I’ve noticed in my kids school r not teaching them what is on that dang test any way !!!! It is sad my daughter was and is looking forward to college but these test are making her want to quit and drop out of high school thanks and way to go for getting the kids to not care anymore !!!!! And y’all’s Motto never leave a child behind ! What the hell do u think u just did and caused !!!!

  2. My child failed the last two years of her writing STAAR testing and passed all the others plus her core classes. This is ridiculous that kids today have to stress of this state mandated test and when and they can’t even get them ready for College…she is ready to throw in the towel and get her GED. They want her to take summer school for what, she took 1/2 semester for a non accredited class for this Writing STAAR test and still failed it. WHAT A SHAME ON THE SCHOOL. She is a A/B student.
    Very sad parent and student in Texas

    • While students in public school are suppose to take the STAAR test there is nothing that
      describes punishment for not taking it.

      The bottom line:
      If students with passing grades do not take the STAAR tests, school districts have no directives from the
      state other than to record on the students record that the STAAR was not taken.

      If students with passing grades take the STAAR tests and fail any part, they must take the test over,
      go to summer school, be retained etc…. depends on what part of the test they fail. If a student with
      passing grades takes the STAAR test three times after all the tutoring and summer school etc…. A committee
      can decide that the student is worthy of being passed. This same student could have bypassed all the stress by
      never taking the STAAR in the first place.

      According to DeEtta Culbertson, TEA
      Even though the Texas Education Code Chapter 28, Subchapter B, Section 28.011 says fifth- and eighth-graders must have satisfactory performance on the state tests for promotion, in actuality, a grade placement committee of administrator, teacher and parent decides whether exceptions can be made to promote a student despite a poor test score or, perhaps, a nonexistent one.

      Also according to the TEA representative, DeEtta Culbertspm:
      “When a child misses a state test and its make up test, the absence is simply noted on the state report,” Culbertson said. A child is not penalized.
      Ms. Culbertson recalled that her own daughter fell into that category of missing both administrations of a state test once, with no backlash.

      Anne Works Article, “Educator Says STAAR Unnecessary” has much more useful information that you will want to read.