STAAR Madness: TEA or Local Decisions

This is a tough time for Opt Out parents because the assessment is happening and there is a lot of pushback. When complaints come, the natural response is to blame the TEA.  But is that fair?  Is that accurate?  Everybody here understands that the TEA tells schools how to administer the assessment and to score […]

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Who’s To Blame

This is a tough time for Opt Out parents because the assessment is happening and there is a lot of pushback at the school level. Sadly, this year more than ever it seems a number of school district employees have entered the TTAAS Facebook group intent on excusing every complaint a parent has. WRONG strategy […]

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Premier TX School Law Firm: Parents Can Opt Out (and Schools Can Excuse the Absence)

For readers of TPERN articles, you will recognize the name Walsh, Anderson.  Walsh, Anderson (now known as Walsh Gallego) is one of the largest (and arguably the most prestigious) education law firms in Texas.  They represent school districts across the state through multiple offices, speak at almost every school conference, and regularly provide guidance to […]

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TEA Violates Law; Refuses to Validate Assessments

In a decision that surprises absolutely nobody, the Texas Education Agency has announced that it will ignore the recent changes to STAAR assessment imposed by the 84th Legislature.  In HB 743, the legislature required that assessments be shortened, that they occur only over the course of one day, and that they be independently validated.  This […]

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TPERN Opposes Proposed STAAR Percentile Rule

On December 19, 2014, the TEA published a proposed amendment to 19 TAC §101.3041, dealing with STAAR performance standards.  This proposed rule ostensibly provides for the publication of percentile ranks on the STAAR, theoretically making comparison between test takers easier.  (TPERN believes that the purpose of an academic readiness assessment is to determine readiness of the […]

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Reviewing Your Child’s STAAR Assessment – A Step by Step Guide

On June 27, 2014, Kyle and Jennifer Massey did something that the Texas Education Agency and local school districts had spent years denying was possible: they reviewed the STAAR assessment booklet and answer sheet that was administered to their child.  Previous requests by parents had been met with denials that ranged from “that’s not possible” […]

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TEA Publishes Misleading SSI Document

We have recently been made aware of a document published by the TEA that implies that 5th and 8th graders who do not pass STAAR reading and mathematics exams cannot be promoted.  This piece of test propaganda completely omits the promotion process created by law by the Texas Legislature, that permits a Grade Placement Committee to […]

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How the TEA Forces Schools to Manipulate STAAR Data

The TEA’s STAAR summary report clearly contemplates that some students will not be tested for reasons other than absence. Yet not a single student who refuses the test is accurately reported in that category. Instead, their data is lumped into the number of students actually tested. Their zero becomes just another student that does not meet minimum standards. Because there is no score averaging in accountability assessment, a zero means the same thing to a school as a student who fails by one question. However, for the district and TEA, the zero becomes evidence that the 95% test participation requirement has been met. These numbers then get placed on federal reports and are used to justify continued receipt of federal funds.

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The TEA, STAAR and Data Manipulation

“for a school, it is better to fail a child but report that he participated than to tell the truth that he was not tested. A failing score hurts the school less than non-participation. The impact on the child is unimportant to the data gatherers. It’s all about making the numbers.”

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