What About High School?

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scott.placek
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Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:32 pm

TPERN Article: What About High School

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Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:35 pm

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24 Comments


Linda Schuenemann
April 14, 2015 at 10:38 pm
my son walked across the stage because he earned all his credits – but he didn’t get his diploma because he did not pass the math portion of the TAAKS. He has taken it 6 times. He can’t get a decent job without that diploma and can’t get into college! The school district told me he can “buy” a diploma from park view baptist in Houston- but my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer last February and with all the surgery, chemo, etc, we don’t have the cash. So I’m not sure where to go from here.


em
May 6, 2015 at 8:49 am
Linda.. sb149 if it goes into law will helo your son bec it is retroactive snd he would be able to obtain his diploma. Pls call the governors office and share your story.. This is why sb149 is vital! Im so sorry abt your husbands battle! :/


admin
September 13, 2019 at 12:56 pm
Linda, please have your son check back with the school. There is a new law that applies to some kids in your son’s situation that let’s them receive their diploma/


Karesha Icho
March 26, 2016 at 9:39 am
Create a name for your homeschool, except his credits from school, and print off your own diploma for him.


admin
March 31, 2016 at 11:48 am
Some programs and institutions require a diploma from an accredited school or a GED. They accept home school but often require more extensive testing for that to happen. So make the right decision for your particular situation. If an accredited diploma makes a difference to a family’s situation, this is an important option.

However, please note that it is a myth that home school diplomas must be treated the same as public school diplomas. A home school is considered an unaccredited private school. Employers, colleges and others are permitted to treat graduates of unaccredited and accredited programs differently.


Jeannie
March 31, 2016 at 11:39 am
exactly Karesha! Pull him out of school and homeschool. In Texas, homeschoolers give their kids diplomas, that by law, are required to be treated the same as a public school diploma. We graduated my son like this and he is now in college. No need to go through a private school or pay anything!

admin
March 31, 2016 at 11:47 am
Some programs and institutions require a diploma from an accredited school or a GED. They accept home school but often require more extensive testing for that to happen. So make the right decision for your particular situation. If an accredited diploma makes a difference to a family’s situation, this is an important option.

However, please note that it is a myth that the law requires home school diplomas to be treated in the same way as public school diplomas. Home school diplomas are considered to be the same as an unaccredited private school. Employers, colleges and others may legally distinguish between graduates of accredited and unaccredited programs.


Serena Corbett
May 3, 2016 at 9:28 am
I wish I had read this sooner! My son is a struggling sophomore. He lost his dad in September of this year so he was setback emotionally which affected his daily life. As snyone who has experienced grief knows. He has struggled with assessment testing since 8th grade. He has adhd also. Math is his worst subject. I truly believe it stems from anxiety he has experienced from earlier testing and the emphasis put on this test by teachers. He like so many other children Ive read stories about here, suffers severe stomach upset, headaches worry. At the time of these tests. It has ultimatley led to him hating school. (His words). Because noone cares about me only what score I get. It is heartbtreaking what our children are being reduced to. This has to stop and Im learning how to be part of the solution! Thank
You for articles like this.



Julia
June 2, 2016 at 9:48 pm
Id love a recent take on it
Since this was written in 2014. Things have changed. What can we do now?


admin
June 7, 2016 at 12:23 pm
Julia, there is nothing outdated here. You can do exactly what it says.



Janice stokes naumannn
April 13, 2018 at 3:28 pm
My son was in Hisd and getting no where. We home schooled his senior year thru park view baptist. He got his diploma and had a gradation ceremony . He went on to San Jacinto and got his associates. He is making great money today doing what he loves. It was so worth the $80 a month to pay for park view. This was like 10 years ago. Before STAAR so worth the money!!!!’



Debbie
May 1, 2018 at 6:38 pm
I want opt my son out of STAAR next week. What procedures should I take. Is any of this still valid?



admin
May 6, 2018 at 5:58 pm
What do you mean is it still valid???? Seriously?

Please read the step by step guide. It answers your questions about procedures.



Alicia Verdier
September 13, 2019 at 12:53 pm
My son opted out of STAAR in high school and used the TEA Alternative Assessments for his EOCs. He graduated in 2018, in the top 3% of his class. HISD did try to prevent his graduation, but Scott Placek was instrumental in informing them that they had no grounds to deny him a diploma. None of the universities my son applied to ever asked about a STAAR score, and he was accepted into schools both inside and out of Texas.



Ann Merrill
September 13, 2019 at 6:53 pm
So far 3 of my sons have graduated high school without the high stakes assessments.
2012: graduated under SPED, minimum requirements. He never had to attempt the TAKS after transferring from out of state in 2011.

2016: graduated under SB149. He had taken 3 required during freshman year, by choice. 2012 was the first year we opted out after researching things with the oldest (mentioned above). He was actually commended on his freshman STAAR. However he decided it was a horrible waste of time, filled with trickery, poorly written assessment to gauge basic knowledge, and no contribution for college preparation (which isn’t required anyways).
After much discussion with our principal, who didn’t even know the TEA policies or SB149…he refused the other 2 STAAR which counter as “attempted”. Even so he had substitutions for STAAR: TSI, ACT with writing, PSAT, PACT, and AP exams qualifiying score of 4.
He graduated in 2012 with honors.

2018: graduated through SPED. He refused all STAAR, which counted as “attempted”. During his junior year (2016-17), he and the youngest son (a freshman) met with the school counselor in the office to break the seal on 3 of the 5 STAAR to make it “official”..then hand them back unanswered. This only happened once. From then on, a phone call and email offered the STAAR. Upon refusal, the assessment would be scored “S” and returned. He never took a single STAAR. No substitute assessments.
He graduated on the recommended program.

2020: upcoming graduation for our last in school, now a senior. He has never taken a single STAAR, refusing each time it’s offered. He has substitutions for each STAAR: TSI, ACT with writing, PSAT, PACT, and future AP exams.

Graduating under an IGC. Currently sixth in his class of 148.



Jennifer Rosenboom
September 13, 2019 at 7:42 pm
May 24, 2018: My senior will not be getting his diploma tomorrow when he walks the stage. This jeopardizes his scheduled US Army ship out date of July 1st. He has one EOC that he has to pass before they will give him his diploma. He has enough credits to graduate but that’s not good enough. At the beginning of his senior year he has passed only 2 EOCs. After the fall 2017 attempts, nothing changed. I reached out to the school asking for their game plan in January of 2018, and I was told we have to wait until he retakes it in the spring of 2018. After attempting the Algebra (9th attempt), English I (9th attempt), and English II (6th attempt), he was still not able to pass them. The AP had him do three projects as IGC (not formally called or met). He passed all three yet the district will still not grant the English II IGC so he can get his diploma. Nope. Instead he has to wait until June to take it for a SEVENTH time and hope he passes it. However, results will not be in on time in order for him to be able to go to basic and he will have to push this back until he finally can pass it.

May 26, 2018: We decided NOT to retest and NOT to be a slave to the TEA. Decision was made to find an alternative degree program so he can make his ship out date.

May 30, 2018: requested US Army to evaluate TOPS for acceptance.

May 31, 2018: ordered program from TOPS after finding a back up plan that will accept TOPS diploma (local police Department). Praying the US Army will also accept it.

June 4, 2018: program arrived in the evening via USPS. Also heard back from the Army that they would accept TOPS diploma!

June 6, 2018: he completed the entire workbook which took about two FULL days to complete. Mailed workbook overnight via USPS.

June 8, 2018: phone call from TOPS announced he passed and will get a diploma. Gets diploma, tassel, 2 sealed official and 1 unsealed transcript. Should be sent off Monday (6/11).

June 13, 2018: diploma, transcripts, and tassel arrive. Transcript shows graduation date of 6/8/18!

July 3, 2018: after 3 days at MEPS waiting to ship out to Basic Combat Training, he finally arrived to Fort Leonard Wood! Mom received “the call” shortly after midnight on July 4th that he arrived safely. “Happy Independence Day” now takes on a whole new meaning!

November 21, 2018: after an injury during CBT, and being recycled through BCT, he GRADUATES from basic training!

Feb 4, 2018: graduation from Advance Individual Training! Now the fun begins, finally!

Feb 5, 2018: arrives at first duty station at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas!

He did NOT allow this flawed system to hold him back from his dreams!

It is possible to graduate AND receive a diploma AND fulfill dreams without taking or passing STAAR!


Michele McDonald
September 13, 2019 at 10:38 pm
My daughter graduated 2nd in her class of over 400 and didn’t take all of her EOCs. She did not take English I or English 2. Instead she used SAT and ACT to cover those. She did walk at graduation and gave a speech. She was offered admission to several top 20 universities and is currently a Sophomore at Rice University in Houston, Tx with majors in Bio-Physics, Philosophy (with a concentration in ethics), and is trying to wrangle a minor in neuro-science.


Nancy Robinson
October 7, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Does the attempt situation work for kids with a 504?



admin
October 7, 2019 at 7:07 pm
If you are referring to the note relating to SpEd, no it does not apply to 504, only Special Education kids.



Stacy Mattison
November 14, 2019 at 12:34 pm
What if child is SPED & currently Opts Out by not coming to school those days. Dr Note: Excused Absence so there no attempt at all? Can this be done in High School? Or is it better to show up, write refused, so documented as 1 attempt?


admin
December 3, 2019 at 11:08 pm
It can, but to save time, effort, and make sure that IGC and other options stay in play, I recommend active refusal in high school if the student is reliable and can handle it.



Stacy Mattison
November 14, 2019 at 12:53 pm
As far as Staar Opt Out in High School, Is a child w/ adhd better served under SPED-OHI than a 504 when they go to High School? I see your reply above says the 1 attempt applies to SPED not 504.

How does this affect EOC must pass requirements?

My 8th Grader (504 Adhd & characteristics of Dyscalculia) decides each year to Opt Out of Math but chooses to take Read Staar since she masters & gets advanced.

My 7th grader (just approved for SPED-OHI was 504) Opt Outs out of ALL Staar tests (shes Dyslexic/Dysgraphic & Adhd)



admin
December 3, 2019 at 11:07 pm
100% better off in SPED than 504 because the ARD can waive STAAR passage as a graduation requirement. The 504 committee cannot do that.



Stacy Mattison
November 14, 2019 at 1:07 pm
What do you recommend? We are contemplating where my 8th grader (504 Adhd) currently in public charter will attend High School (high probability traditional public) for 9th grade next year. So far she plans to opt out of all Staar tests this Spring. Im anticipating the possible ramifications of the High School we decide on having issue w/ her not having taken Staar & not having Staar scores. All her grades & benchmarks are High As & High Bs w/ exception of Math where she struggles the most. She maintains high 70s. We are not wrapped around axle when it comes to traditional graduation & diploma.
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amanda.malone
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Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:57 pm

My son is a senior with an IEP. He has not taken any EOC's. He did take the ACT but did not meet the score needed to use for substitute assessment. We had his annual ARD today which ended in disagreement (and we will reconvene next Monday) as they are refusing to document in his IEP that he will graduate based on credits and not EOC's and are stating he will have to actually take each STAAR EOC and that he cannot break the seal and hand it back to be scored which would count as attempted. Their exact words were "the ARD committee cannot make that decision and that the student has to make a good faith attempt on each staar EOC by actually answering the questions." I stood my ground but they would not budge which resulted in recessing the meeting. We have opted out since 6th grade. Any advice for the reconvene meeting next Monday would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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scott.placek
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Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:21 pm

Ask them to provide you the authority for " the student has to make a good faith attempt on each staar EOC by actually answering the questions" because that is precisely the opposite of how the TEA treats refusals. Under the TEA guidelines, the school is required to score every assessment presented to a student and that counts as an "attempt." Before the meeting, put in writing that you expect them to be able to show you the statute, regulation, promulgated board policy or TEA directive that states that position.

As to the idea that the "the ARD committee cannot make that decision" that students are not required to pass the EOCs to graduate, they are just lying. Under 19 TAC §89.1070 (b)(2), a SpEd student must show satisfactory performance as established in the TEC, Chapter 39, on the required state assessments, unless the student's ARD committee has determined that satisfactory performance on the required state assessments is not necessary for graduation.. That's about as obvious as you can get.

Yes, they can require participation, but that's it. Under the TEA rules, being present when the books are handed out is participation.
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