Calhoun County ISD – STAAR Takes Up All March

April 11, 2016
This is as real and honest admission as you will ever see from a district about how STAAR focused their curriculum is. Sad, but true.

No, You Don’t Have to Pass STAAR in 5th or 8th Grade

April 7, 2016
OK, so a mom from Kissam Elementary is being told that passing STAAR is required to go to 6th grade.  Let’s examine how we know this is not true. First, search for the Academic Performance Report for your school from 2014-2015.  It is located here: Academic Performance Report The cover looks like this: Now let’s […]

Texas Children Deserve Better

March 25, 2016
by Jennifer Rumsey March 24, 2016 special to It’s that time again. Time for STAAR testing in Texas. STAAR is the legislatively mandated series of high-stakes tests for public school children in Texas, and it is the most recent and most difficult of several testing program iterations that began in the 1980’s. I have been […]

Houston ISD acknowledges 26.010 Opt Out Rights

March 7, 2016
Fox 26 reporter Andrea Watkins has made real headway in getting school districts on the record about a parent’s right to Opt Out.  In her initial report, Katy ISD Director of Assessment, Alison Matney (who has made inaccurate posts on this website) acknowledged that while there is no process to opt out, parents can just […]

Houston ISD Continues to Mislead Parents

February 22, 2016
Activist parents in Houston ISD rightly celebrated when the HISD Board of Trustees became the first district (to our knowledge) to write Opt Out procedures into their board policies.  Further, the parents succeeded in convincing the board to suspend, at least for this year, the HISD specific policy which made STAAR passage a promotion standard […]

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

February 19, 2016
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 […]

Schools To Lege: We Will Do What We Want

February 11, 2016
In 2013, as parents began to become more vocal about the outrageous emphasis on standardized assessment, and the time it was taking away from real learning, the Texas Legislature took notice and took the first baby steps toward rolling back the punitive STAAR assessment system that lobbyists with no education experience had ramrodded through in […]

Why I’m Not Going To Hold Your Hand This Year

October 16, 2015
With the recent TEA announcement that the passing standard for STAAR will rise this year, interest in the Opt Out movement has started even earlier than usual.  Parents around the state have found their kids have been pulled from electives and forcibly enrolled in test prep class periods.  School board meetings have been called to […]

TEA Violates Law; Refuses to Validate Assessments

October 15, 2015
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 […]

TEA Announces Higher Passing Standards; TPERN Smells a Rat

October 5, 2015
TEA Commissioner Michael Williams announced that this year the STAAR “cut scores” will increase as a way of showing enhanced “rigor” in the demands placed on Texas students. Planned phased in increases in STAAR scoring had been delayed since the implementation of the system due to flat results in scores. This last spring we got […]