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 […]

School Lawyers React to Home School Co-enrollment

October 5, 2015
Last year, TPERN introduced parents to the concept of home school co-enrollment as a means of complying with compulsory attendance laws while holding kids out of school during testing windows.  Two groups had a problem with it: school lawyers and some full time home schoolers.  While we respect the opinion of the full time home […]

Denton ISD Issues Void Summer School Order; TPERN Responds

April 27, 2015
Following in the footsteps of Houston ISD, which hastily admitted its error, the Denton Independent School District has started sending notices to parents of children who did not pass the 5th grade STAAR reading informing those parents that their children will be required to attend summer school if they do not pass the second administration […]

TPERN Responds to Houston ISD Warning Letter

April 24, 2015
The Houston Chronicle recently published an article noting that Houston ISD had sent a warning letter to parents who opted out of STAAR assessment.  The letter was full of legal and factual errors, but was also notable for its blatant declaration that mandatory summer school awaits all kids who have opted out of STAAR.  This […]

Five Responses When The School Says 26.010 Means You Can’t Opt Out

April 13, 2015
It’s that time of year.  Schools are sending around copies of Tex. Ed. Code sec. 26.010, accusing Opt Out groups of misleading parents, and trying to coerce people into subjecting their kids to assessments.  Don’t be a sheep.  The TEA’s interpretation of Tex. Education Code sec. 26.010 has never been affirmed by any court.  This is […]

Ten Common Mistakes Parents Make During the IEP Meeting

April 7, 2015
. . . It is important that parents become informed and involved in their child’s education. There are many sources of information and support in your state. However, the more skills you have and the more information you learn, the better you can advocate for your child. Over the past few years we have found that […]