Tabbing Through

So it’s opt out time for STAAR.  We’ve already told you that the school is not going to “agree” that you can opt out.  Now that doesn’t mean you can’t opt out.  In fact, some schools play the game of pretending that refusing to participate (your option) is not opting out.  It is.  They don’t get to define words for us.

So what do we know?

We know that the TEA has told schools that they can accept parental refusals and submit a blank assessment without ever putting it in front of the student.  And thankfully, we are seeing more districts than ever working with parents and offering this option.

We know that if the district doesn’t offer that option, the student can refuse in person and either be sent on to class (good job school!) or sit and not engage the assessment (punitive, but as long as they don’t coerce you, it’s OK).

But many parents (and kids) decide that sitting for three or more hours to refuse the assessment is a silly game, and that the best way to successfully opt out is to submit a blank assessment in the testing room.  This is what you will see called “Tabbing Through”.  In this process, the student advances to the next question without answering, dismisses all warnings about missing answers, gets to the end and submits the assessment (without asking for the proctor to review it).  But this raises the question: how do we teach our kids to do this?

Thanks to a wonderful TTAAS Facebook member, we present the video tutorial “Tabbing Through”  Enjoy the video and let’s get out there and opt out. Because it is OUR option, not the school’s.

The CVEP Interview – The Oaks Private School

For years, we have promoted the CVEP (Credit Verification and Evaluation Program) as a proactive way for parents to plan for high school graduation without STAAR.  The CVEP program permits the student to attend and participate in all their local high school activities without ever taking STAAR.  After completing their credits, the student then “transfers” the credits to The Oaks Private School (TOPS), and after completing a short course, they receive their accredited diploma.  Texas parents have used this process to complete their high school diplomas and even to meet military enlistment requirements.  The program is legitimate and the school is regionally accredited.

The two questions we get the most are (a) can I still graduate with my local high school and (b) how much does it cost.  Graduation participation depends on your local school policies.  If they permit students who have completed all graduation requirements other than state assessments to participate in graduation, then your student likely can participate also.  If they don’t you will have to forego the local ceremony.  Please note, a ceremony  is not graduation, it is only a ritual.  It should also be noted that your local school board can change this policy, so parents should actively lobby their district to permit all students who have completed credits to participate in graduation.  For your local school’s policies, check Board Policy FMH (Local) (See example for Georgetown ISD).  As to the cost, the CVEP program is exceedingly affordable.  If paid in full, the cost is only $450.  TOPS also has payment options, and if utilized the final cost is $500.

In this interview, the principal of The Oaks Private School, Marilyn Bennett, joins us to discuss the CVEP program.  Please note, Marilyn’s opinions are her own.  We do not share the belief that students/parents should participate in or attempt the STAAR EOCs because of the punitive and discriminatory use of the results.  However, we fully support CVEP and the excellent people at TOPS.  Please note, parents looking for an online, private option for a full, accredited at home curriculum may also wish to visit with Marilyn about their full time enrollment programs.

Enjoy the interview, and please consider supporting us on Patreon if you find the information helpful!

My School Took My Kid’s Elective and Put Them In STAAR Classes!

Despite the clear language of the law, some schools have denied parental opt out from accelerated instruction and placed kids into STAAR prep classes.  After you have submitted your opt out, you must follow up if your child has been denied access to electives.  For that reason, we’ve added a new follow up letter to get those electives back.  This video below will walk you through the letter.

Opt Out and Compulsory Attendance: A Red Herring

We’ve recently seen a number of communications from schools indicating that they cannot “permit” a parent to opt out of Accelerated Instruction under HB 4545 because it is subject to compulsory attendance.  In this brief video, we look at the actual words of the opt out and compulsory attendance statute and consider an uncontroversial example that demonstrate how this claim is legally untenable and, if true, would render the opt out statute a complete nullity.