TEA Commissioner Admits Teachers Unable to Align Instruction with STAAR

August 22, 2014
On August 21, 2014, TEA Commissioner Michael Williams announced that Texas would once again delay implementing increased performance standards for its STAAR examinations which are used to assess academic readiness, are required for automatic promotion to 6th or 9th grade, and which must be passed by high school students in five different areas in order […]

Fighting the Opt Out Truancy Threats: Dual Enrollment Home Schooling

August 12, 2014
Schools are actively brandishing the threat of truancy charges against parents who exercise their fundamental liberty rights to direct the education of their children and protect them from abusive testing regimens.  Schools have sent threatening letters and in some cases actually filed truancy charges against both parents and children if they missed10 days (unexcused) in […]

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

June 27, 2014
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” […]

A Note on Accelerated Instruction (STAAR Summer School)

June 5, 2014
Updated June 2018 At the 5th and 8th grade Grade Placement Committees, some schools will take the position that the law prohibits them from promoting your student unless they attend required accelerated instruction (AI). The law could be read that way if your child took and failed the STAAR. For students that did not take […]

Parental Access Rights Upheld then Denied in Canyon ISD

May 12, 2014
TEA can’t stand it when school districts obey the law. Canyon ISD is one Texas school district following the law and recognizing the vital role of parents in their child’s education. Canyon ISD was permitting inspection of STAAR assessments before they are returned to the TEA, but was ordered not to do so by the TEA.

Northside ISD STAAR Math: 100 – 8 = 71

April 25, 2014
Schools get their hackles up if parents suggest that they are teaching to the STAAR test.  Even though all of our kids know it and tell us, the schools deny it to the ends of the earth.  They assure us that they just follow the curriculum, and it aligns with STAAR, and that the STAAR […]

TEA Publishes Misleading SSI Document

April 23, 2014
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 […]

Testing Irregularity: Spring ISD Elementary School Communicates Wrong Start Time to Parents

April 23, 2014
On Thursday April 18, 2014, Hoyland Elementary in Spring ISD sent home a form regarding the STAAR testing that would occur on Tuesday, April 22 and Wednesday April 23rd. The form stated that there would be no visitors, deliveries, etc. during STAAR testing. School would begin at 7:30 am and state testing would begin promptly […]

How the TEA Forces Schools to Manipulate STAAR Data

April 19, 2014
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.

Opting Out and Truancy: A Hollow Threat or Big Stick?

April 17, 2014
A recent tactic by school districts faced with opt out requests has been to not so subtly suggest to parents that if they keep their children home on STAAR administration and make up days, the schools will report the parent to the appropriate agency for institution of truancy charges. Truancy courts have become an increasingly […]