Jerk of the Week – Drew Scheberle, Austin Chamber of Commerce VP

April 12, 2017
The Jerk of the Week award is not given out every week. It’s only given out when someone engages in particularly jerky behavior. Our winner this week is none of than Austin Chamber of Commerce vice president (sorry, SENIOR vice-president) Drew Scheberle. Young Mr. Scheberle is quite the accomplished scholar. Growing up in the affluent […]

Please Set Your Password

March 24, 2017
This is a post I hate to write, but it is sadly necessary.  A number of parents choose to opt out by having their kids refuse the assessment.  This is completely fine.  Choose the best route for you.  A growing number of schools have chosen to work with parents to enable the refusal to take […]

Conroe ISD Doubles Down on Old Lies

March 13, 2017
We’ve received a report of a demonstrably false e-mail being sent to parents at a Conroe ISD junior high school., McCullough Junior High.  The full email is below, but the closing paragraph of the e-mail read as follows: “Also, as a general reminder to ensure there is no confusion or surprise, Texas students in eighth […]

An Open Letter to Mike Morath

June 12, 2016
from Ben Becker I am a public school parent, and I do want accountability for our schools. What makes a good school is so much more complex than what any single assessment can determine, and I look forward to the day when this is recognized by the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Legislature. Until […]

TEA Scraps 5th/8th Grade STAAR Consequences

June 12, 2016
Facing a pending deadline to answer the lawsuit filed by four Texas parents challenging the 2016 STAAR administrations for grades 3-8, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath announced major changes to 5th and 8th grade STAAR for this year.  In a letter to Texas administrators, Morath announced that the TEA was “removing student consequences attached to STAAR […]

Call to Action: Comment on Proposed Accountability Rules

June 7, 2016
Despite knowing that the Grade 3-5, and likely the Grade 6-8 STAAR, assessments do not comply with the time limits set in Education Code, the TEA is moving forward with plans to use those ratings in the 2015-2016 accountability ratings. This is done via the rulemaking process.  Parents should submit public comment on this matter […]

Seguin ISD Files Due Process Complaint Against TEA

June 2, 2016
Finally! A district has realized the can and must stand up for their students with regard to STAAR assessment. Although this is a limited scope complaint, it marks, to our knowledge, the first formal complaint made against the TEA for accommodation issues relating to STAAR. TPERN salutes the Seguin ISD for taking this long overdue […]

The “Required” Summer School Notice

April 20, 2016
2023 Note: The revisions of HB 4545 eliminated the GPC process.  This article is outdated.  Note, however, that this year Grades 3-8 are not receiving STAAR results until August.  Some schools are attempting to “require” summer school based on predictive results.  This is not allowed.  Only actual failure to meet standards can result in “required” […]

The Summer School “Threat”

April 19, 2016
For 5th and 8th grade students who have received or are about to receive their results, parents commonly hear “if they don’t pass/If they opt out they have to go to summer school.” Please understand, that no school has the authority to tell you that you are going to summer school. By law, accelerated instruction […]

The GPC Process – TEA Flowcharts

April 19, 2016
For parents of 5th and 8th graders who have opted out or failed STAAR, these flow charts show the process for determination of Accelerated Instruction and Promotion/Retention. General Education Students (p. 8 of SSI Manual) Special Education For special education students, the ARD committee acts as the GPC. (p. 27 of SSI manual)