SUCCESS! Middle school and high school opt outs facilitated!
Our younger daughter graduated from high school last May. She hadn’t taken a STAAR Assessment since 5th grade. We used substitute assessments, IGC for US History, and she received the Covid waivers. Her US History IGC project was a report about the Civil Rights era. She spun it to include our decision to practice civil disobedience by refusing STAAR to reflect our beliefs that STAAR is a prejudiced system that specifically targets students of color, students of a lower socioeconomic status, students with learning disabilities, etc. She is the first student to opt out in our district (Pleasanton ISD) and received her diploma with all her earned honors. She is currently a freshman at Texas A&M University. TAMU never once asked about her missing STAAR scores. Colleges don’t care! We were blessed with a very supportive district and campus administration (or else they just didn’t want to deal with us anymore), but we also went into every single meeting prepared with all the information gleaned from this page. Many times we were educating our schools about opt out rights, but the facts from txedrights.net clearly spell it out.
STAAR is not required.
Opting out/refusing STAAR and HB 4545 is legal.
In 2022, when my daughter was a senior at United Independent School District in Laredo, Texas, I received an incredible amount of pushback for the ENTIRE YEAR as I opted my senior out of testing and requested an IGC, but I didn’t give in! I kept pushing and my daughter’s graduation kept being threatened. Literally, my daughter was told by her administrator at USHS, to her face without my presence on more than one occasion, “I hope you know your mom is risking your graduation.” She too didn’t give in, and I’m so incredibly proud of her. She even told them, “It’s ok. I have an uncle in Austin who is willing to pay for my CVEP and I’m sure that wouldn’t look good for you.” Still, they pushed back.
With tremendous help from an educational advocate we put together NUMEROUS emails sent to my daughter’s administrator who then involved district personnel such as the executive director of high school education. I then involved the counselor and had her verify in writing that my daughter has met all graduation requirements. Eventually we involved and carbon copied TEA into our emails.
For those who are still learning, TEA states students are to be given the opportunity to an IGC, individual graduation committee BEGINNING at the END of their JUNIOR year. This district CHOSE NOT TO time after time stating the child MUST retest at EVERY opportunity, but being I’ve helped other families I knew they were all lies. I seriously didn’t expect this much trouble though. They pushed the IGC until March, then May!!!! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!
So after compiling another email to TEA asking for direct clarification on the IGC my daughter was FINALLY granted her right to one!!!! She completed the project in no time and proudly walked the stage.
Parents keep pushing! YOU CAN AND YOU WILL WIN!