Rep. Reed Letter to DOE re Opt Out Rights

Rep. Tom Reed of New York sent a letter that was co-signed by several other representative (including one from Texas) to Sec. of Education King reminding him of the intent of ESSA to protect parental opt out rights.  The key sentence asserts that parents have every right to decide what is in the best interest of their kids in terms of assessment.

Although this is not binding law, it does indicate, again, the intent behind ESSA and is useful in countering the form letter responses from school lawyers that there is no inherent right to make educational decisions for your kids.

Rep. Reed Letter


  1. Lakirra Daniels

    please help me help my children…… testing is going on and the amount of pressure that is being applied to our children for a test is ridiculous. My child did not pass the math test and is being told that he will repeat 5th grade based on his test scores and not his scores throughout the school year. he does not test well and also have adhd they are asked to sit for 4 hours and test, something grown people cant even do.

    1. Kelly

      Fight for your child. If they have passing report card grades, but failed a portion of the test and want to hold your child back…FIGHT. You can refuse them being held back if they have passing grades. They can be placed vs being promoted. You will go to a committee meeting and express to them that you want your child to be placed in the next level. Fight. Don’t give up.

    2. Terry Slaughter

      I also have two boys in the fifth grade with adhd. They to failed the math and reading part but passed on their report cards. I’m being told they will have to repeat the fifth grade…. BS!!!

    3. Jaclyn m Lozano

      What did find out ? I recently had a meeting with my daughter teachers amd was told if she did not pass she will not b able to go to the 6th grade
      My daughter is adhd and she cried and cried Idk what to do any more

  2. Lisa Heaviland

    Can u please help me with this, my children are passing all their core classes. They do tutoring, Sat tutoring for this just to prepare, they get so stressed . I have one in the 8th grade and one in 6th. My 8th grader, came home crying because, she thought she passed it, and she failed , her math and reading, she is dyslexic. She cried for 2 hours. I held her for those to hours , as she called herself stupid , dumb, and that she can’t do anything right. No , parent should have to sit there and reassure her child , that she is amazing, smart, and she just needs to try harder. She’s in fear of being held back. She has one more try, if she fails, she has to go to summer school, if she fails then she will b held back. It’s rediculous. Every child is different, they learn differently. They put to much pressure on these kids. I even read one if the questions in the reading has a poem in it, and the person that wrote the poem, couldn’t even answer the questions. This is a test, that prepares them to fail. Please, help me figure out how I as a parent can help my children. It is my job as a parent to protect my children from anything that will cause them physical or mental anguish. This is my goal. Thank you.

    1. Alesha

      My son is ADHD & Dyslexic failed the math & reading but is passing all his classes & has made great results. His counselor called & said that they will go before the committee to see if he can be placed to the next grade which he is in 8th right now. So tell her to keep her head up they can place her to the next grade just with her good grades. Just keep fighting for her to be placed & don’t back down!

  3. Tonya Jones

    What about graduation? We are being told my son won’t graduate this next year because of a test…..NOT because of failing grades through out his school career but because of TEST!

  4. Dena Turner

    Lisa my daughter is dyslexic as well and failed the test, took summer schoolthen retested only to fail again. She missed passing by just 15 points. She is doing the same thing, calling herself stupid. I told her that the test is what’s stupid! She made A’s and B’s all year long, the Staar test DOES NOT determine her intelligence!

  5. Mary Ann Rodriguez

    My 12 yr old son has ADHD and is on a 504 program where they will “accommodate him”. I was just told this week that he has failed the last 3 years of STAR testing and they suggested I get him tested for Special Ed. That was insulting to me when I know my child is only struggling on the test, not throughout the year – he has a B average and has never failed. The assistant principal, who is new to the school, commented that the teachers might be accommodating him too much (grading on the curve). I was upset that it has taken a new assistant principal to address this, when last year he wasn’t told he had to go to summer school, and last year we were told the STAR results didn’t matter. What can I do to make sure my child is getting a good education at a public school? It seems the administration is trying to look good by passing their kids and that this is their only concern but then once the child gets tested the reality kicks in. I don’t know what to do at this point. I’m hoping it’s not too late for my son to catch up.

  6. Angela

    My brother who is on the 504 program, a junior in High school has failed his English portion of the STAAR and is told he will not graduate if he does not pass. How does the 504 plan protect him or exempt him from the STAAR ?

    1. admin

      What question do you want answered? If you demand attention to legal issues on your terms, lawyers do that for money. If you are asking for free help from volunteers, you kind of have to take it on their schedule.

  7. Erica

    My son is a senior and is at this very moment taking the STAAR test in Houston Texas. He was diagnosed with Brain cancer twice within the pass 6 years and has fought it both times and won. He is currently in remission. He has issues with concentrating and comprehending and is currently on the 504 plan. He’s grade are pretty decent and he tries his best everyday in school to keep his grades up because he wants to graduate and go to the police academy and be a police officer one day. Even with everything he’s been through in his short 17 years of life, HISD is telling him he MUST pass the STAAR test in order to graduate. I don’t think this is right that these kids get pressured to pass this test and that this test will determine the rest of their lives! Too much stress and pressure is not good for a kid and I think it makes them feel like they did their best throughout all their school years for nothing. Someone please help us!!

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