Do Not Take STAAR TESTS

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STAAR TESTs Used TO FAIL STUDENTS

The STAAR Tests given in Texas have absolutely no educational value. I am very serious about this. I base this evaluation of the STAAR tests on several things, including:

1. TEKS are a group of essential knowledge and skills that students are expected to master during one school year, which is 180 student days.

The STAAR tests are said to assess how well students understand the TEKS.
The STAAR Tests are schedule in April. Count the student days teachers have to prepare students to be tested over the entire content of the curriculum and it is less than 110 days. Thus, TEA schedules the STAAR tests knowing that students have not been given enough time to learn the TEKS being assessed. TEA has scheduled the 2015 STAAR Tests to start on March 30, 2015. Teachers must present all the TEKS in less than 110 days.

Texas Education Agency  (TEA) is an oxymoron. TEA has little focus on education. TEA needs to be renamed and the best choice is TTATexas Testing Agency.

2. The only advantage for a student who passes the reading and math STAAR tests is they do not have to be drilled and drilled and retested.

Students who do not take the STAAR tests are threatened and school districts do everything they can to punish these students. Seniors are not allowed to be in graduation ceremonies, etc…..  What do school districts lose if a student doesn’t take the STAAR?

 3. The 5th Science STAAR tests have errors. Student scores are never corrected because   that TEA never acknowledges the errors.

Following is a comment from  a father whose son was failed because the boy failed the 5th grade STAAR reading test. This student has passing class grades. Questions the parents need to ask the school administrators, include:

  1. Why is my son passing his class work if he doesn’t have the ability to read at the 5th grade level?
  2. Are the teachers at the school teaching at a level below the rigor required to pass the 5th STAAR reading test?
  3. Since the STAAR tests are in April, is my child properly prepared for the STAAR tests?
  4. What confirmation is there that the STAAR tests are valid? Pearson Publishing does not have a reputation for producing quality test materials, yet a test from this company is being use to “trump” all my son’s class work.
  5. Was my son tutored by professionals skilled in the content that he is not being successful in?
  6. What material is used for the tutoring? Is it the same material used during the school year? Is the tutoring given by the same instructors that have already evaluated his abilities and have given him a passing score?
  7. According to Texas Education Commissioner Michael William, Texas classroom teaching are not “jumping high enough” to prepare students for the rigorous STAAR tests. This means that the students who pass in their classes but fail the STAAR tests have not been prepared. Ask about this. Demand to know why the school district has allowed parents to be deceived about the progress of their children. Demand to know why the principal of the school allowed your child to be given passing grades when he was not prepared to pass the state reading test? The “buck” has to stop somewhere and the Texas Commissioner of Education, Michael Williams is passing it like a hot potato. More about this in another article. But for now, the blame for a student passing class work and failing the STAAR is the fault of the school district’s administrators.

MY SON HAS PASSED ALL HIS CLASSES ALL YEAR LONG. HE FAILED THE READING STARR 2X DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR AND AGAIN DURING SUMMER. EACH TIME HE RETOOK THE TEST HE DID BETTER, HIS LAST TEST HE MISSED A PASSING GRADE BY 5 QUESTIONS. THE SCHOOL SAYS HE IS TO BE RETAINED BECAUSE HE FAILED THE TEST. THAT IS THE ONLY REASON THEY GAVE US. MY SON HAS IMPROVED EACH TIME HE TOOK THE TEST AND FINISHED THE YEAR WITH A 76 IN READING, HIS LOWEST GRADE.

WE HAD A MEETING TO APPEAL THE RETENTION AND THE SCHOOL HAS FAIL TO GIVE US A REASON OTHER THAN “BECAUSE HE FAILED THE STARR” TO WHY MY SON SHOULD NOT/ IS NOT READY TO BE PROMOTED TO THE 6TH GRADE.

HIS READING TEACHER DIDN’T EVEN SHOW UP TO THE MEETING, THE PRINCIPLE ONLY PLAN OF ACTION TO HELP MY SON WAS THAT HE COME TO TUTORING BEFORE SCHOOL, AND TRY AGAIN NEXT YEAR. WOOOOOOOOW!

According to the Texas State Education Code shown below, the reading teacher has to be part of the grade placement committee. In fact the code specifically says that the grade placement committee  shall be composed of the principal or the principal’s designee, the student’s parent or guardian, and the teacher of the subject of an assessment instrument on which the student failed to perform satisfactorily.

Since your son has a passing grade of 76, the grade placement committee had the choice of promoting your son and requiring him to take accelerated instruction in the 6th grade. Educator are well aware that students who are retained fall into the group more likely to drop out of school. Thus, to not promote your son because of the STAAR reading test potentially has a negative effect on his future education.

The Grade Placement Committee that made the decision to retain your son did not meet the STATE Education Code, thus, I suggest that you request another meeting with the teacher in attendance.

It it totally up to the Grade Placement Committee as to whether your son is promoted and they can promote him if they deem it for the best interest of the child. Without the presence of the teacher, in my opinion, the principal did not have the authority to act on his own and fail your son. I suggest that you contact the school superintendent and request another meeting.

Parents–If your child has passing grades, why take the chance on not being promoted.  The easiest procedure is to remove a child from school before the STAAR tests are given and homeschool them. They can start back to public school in the fall in the next grade.  If your child has passing grades and fails the STAAR tests, then he/she can be retained. Some school districts do not fail children over the STAAR. It is up to the school administrators. They can allow the child to be promoted and require the child to receive accelerated instructions. But they DO NOT FAIL THE CHILD.

MY WIFE AND I ARE GOING TO FIGHT THIS TO THE BITTER END. WE HAVE SPOKE TO DAVID WRIGHT (STUDENT SERVICES OF MISD) AND HE FAILED TO GIVE A JUSTIFIABLE REASON TO WHY MY SON SHOULD NOT BE PROMOTED.

WE ARE NOW GOING OVER HIS HEAD AND WILL KEEP GOING TILL THEY DO WHATS RIGHT.

ANY SUGGESTIONS AS TO WHAT WE CAN DO? MY SON WORKS HARD TO MAKE HIS GRADE, HE JUST A BAD TEST TAKER. HIS TEST SCORES IMPROVED EACH TIME HE TOOK THE TEST, AND HE PASSED HIS READING WITH A 76, NO “Fs” AT ALL DURING THE YEAR in ANY OF HIS CLASSES.

I will contact you via email with suggestions for your specific problem

Know Your Rights
Education Code

Sec. 28.0211. SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE ON ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENTS REQUIRED; ACCELERATED INSTRUCTION.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b) or (e), a student may not be promoted to:

(1) the sixth grade program to which the student would otherwise be assigned if the student does not perform satisfactorily on the fifth grade mathematics and reading assessment instruments under Section 39.023; or

(2) the ninth grade program to which the student would otherwise be assigned if the student does not perform satisfactorily on the eighth grade mathematics and reading assessment instruments under Section 39.023.

(a-1) Each time a student fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument administered under Section 39.023(a) in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth grade, the school district in which the student attends school shall provide to the student accelerated instruction in the applicable subject area. Accelerated instruction may require participation of the student before or after normal school hours and may include participation at times of the year outside normal school operations.

(a-2) A student who fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument specified under Subsection (a) and who is promoted to the next grade level must complete accelerated instruction required under Subsection (a-1) before placement in the next grade level. A student who fails to complete required accelerated instruction may not be promoted.

(a-3) The commissioner shall provide guidelines to districts on research-based best practices and effective strategies that a district may use in developing an accelerated instruction program.

(b) A school district shall provide to a student who initially fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument specified under Subsection (a) at least two additional opportunities to take the assessment instrument. A school district may administer an alternate assessment instrument to a student who has failed an assessment instrument specified under Subsection (a) on the previous two opportunities. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a student may be promoted if the student performs at grade level on an alternate assessment instrument under this subsection that is appropriate for the student’s grade level and approved by the commissioner.

(c) Each time a student fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument specified under Subsection (a), the school district in which the student attends school shall provide to the student accelerated instruction in the applicable subject area, including reading instruction for a student who fails to perform satisfactorily on a reading assessment instrument.

After a student fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument a second time, a grade placement committee shall be established to prescribe the accelerated instruction the district shall provide to the student before the student is administered the assessment instrument the third time. The grade placement committee shall be composed of the principal or the principal’s designee, the student’s parent or guardian, and the teacher of the subject of an assessment instrument on which the student failed to perform satisfactorily. The district shall notify the parent or guardian of the time and place for convening the grade placement committee and the purpose of the committee.
An accelerated instruction group administered by a school district under this section may not have a ratio of more than 10 students for each teacher.

(d) In addition to providing accelerated instruction to a student under Subsection (c), the district shall notify the student’s parent or guardian of:

(1) the student’s failure to perform satisfactorily on the assessment instrument;

(2) the accelerated instruction program to which the student is assigned; and

(3) the possibility that the student might be retained at the same grade level for the next school year.

(e) A student who, after at least three attempts, fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument specified under Subsection (a) shall be retained at the same grade level for the next school year in accordance with Subsection (a). The student’s parent or guardian may appeal the student’s retention by submitting a request to the grade placement committee established under Subsection (c). The school district shall give the parent or guardian written notice of the opportunity to appeal. The grade placement committee may decide in favor of a student’s promotion only if the committee concludes, using standards adopted by the board of trustees, that if promoted and given accelerated instruction, the student is likely to perform at grade level. A student may not be promoted on the basis of the grade placement committee’s decision unless that decision is unanimous. The commissioner by rule shall establish a time line for making the placement determination. This subsection does not create a property interest in promotion. The decision of the grade placement committee is final and may not be appealed.

(f) A school district shall provide to a student who, after three attempts, has failed to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument specified under Subsection (a) accelerated instruction during the next school year as prescribed by an educational plan developed for the student by the student’s grade placement committee established under Subsection (c). The district shall provide that accelerated instruction regardless of whether the student has been promoted or retained. The educational plan must be designed to enable the student to perform at the appropriate grade level by the conclusion of the school year. During the school year, the student shall be monitored to ensure that the student is progressing in accordance with the plan. The district shall administer to the student the assessment instrument for the grade level in which the student is placed at the time the district regularly administers the assessment instruments for that school year.

(g) This section does not preclude the retention at a grade level, in accordance with state law or school district policy, of a student who performs satisfactorily on an assessment instrument specified under Subsection (a).

(h) In each instance under this section in which a school district is specifically required to provide notice to a parent or guardian of a student, the district shall make a good faith effort to ensure that such notice is provided either in person or by regular mail and that the notice is clear and easy to understand and is written in English or the parent or guardian’s native language.

(i) The admission, review, and dismissal committee of a student who participates in a district’s special education program under Subchapter B, Chapter 29, and who does not perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument specified under Subsection (a) and administered under Section 39.023(a) or (b) shall determine:

(1) the manner in which the student will participate in an accelerated instruction program under this section; and

(2) whether the student will be promoted or retained under this section.

(j) A school district or open-enrollment charter school shall provide students required to attend accelerated programs under this section with transportation to those programs if the programs occur outside of regular school hours.

(k) The commissioner shall adopt rules as necessary to implement this section, including rules concerning when school districts shall administer assessment instruments required under this section and which administration of the assessment instruments will be used for purposes of Section 39.054.

(l) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1058, Sec. 17, eff. June 15, 2007.

(l-1) The commissioner may adopt rules requiring a school district that receives federal funding under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. Section 6301 et seq.) to use that funding to provide supplemental educational services under 20 U.S.C. Section 6316 in conjunction with the accelerated instruction provided under this section, provided that the rules may not conflict with federal law governing the use of that funding.

(m) The commissioner shall certify, not later than July 1 of each school year or as soon as practicable thereafter, whether sufficient funds have been appropriated statewide for the purposes of this section and Section 28.0217. A determination by the commissioner is final and may not be appealed. For purposes of certification, the commissioner shall consider:

(1) the average cost per student per assessment instrument administration;

(2) the number of students that require accelerated instruction because the student failed to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument;

(3) whether sufficient funds have been appropriated to provide support to students in grades three through 12 identified as being at risk of dropping out of school, as defined in Section 29.081(d); and

(4) whether sufficient funds have been appropriated to provide instructional materials that are aligned with the assessment instruments under Sections 39.023(a) and (c).

(m-1) For purposes of certification under Subsection (m), the commissioner may not consider Foundation School Program funds except for compensatory education funds under Section 42.152. This section may be implemented only if the commissioner certifies that sufficient funds have been appropriated during a school year for administering the accelerated instruction programs specified under this section and Section 28.0217, including teacher training for that purpose.

(n) A student who is promoted by a grade placement committee under this section must be assigned in each subject in which the student failed to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument specified under Subsection (a) to a teacher who meets all state and federal qualifications to teach that subject and grade.

(o) This section does not require the administration of a fifth or eighth grade assessment instrument in a subject under Section 39.023(a) to a student enrolled in the fifth or eighth grade, as applicable, if the student:

(1) is enrolled in a course in the subject intended for students above the student’s grade level and will be administered an assessment instrument adopted or developed under Section 39.023(a) that aligns with the curriculum for the course in which the student is enrolled; or

(2) is enrolled in a course in the subject for which the student will receive high school academic credit and will be administered an end-of-course assessment instrument adopted under Section 39.023(c) for the course.

(p) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a student described by Subsection (o) may not be denied promotion on the basis of failure to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument not required to be administered to the student in accordance with that subsection.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.12, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1058 (H.B. 2237), Sec. 9, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1058 (H.B. 2237), Sec. 17, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 895 (H.B. 3), Sec. 29, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 91 (S.B. 1303), Sec. 7.006, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 307 (H.B. 2135), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 211 (H.B. 5), Sec. 11, eff. June 10, 2013.

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