Tag: parent’s rights

Peaster ISD Superintendent Calls Out Governor on Parents’ Rights

In a YouTube video released today, Peaster ISD superintendent Lance Johnson called out the hypocrisy of Gov. Abbott’s political theatre ploy of announcing his fealty to the so called “parents’ rights” movement that is gaining political currency amongst the Republican electorate. After focusing on the school shutdown and mask mandates that came from the Abbott administration, Supt. Johnson then moves to the issue that motivates us at TPERN: the right of parents to refuse their child’s participation in the STATE STAAR accountability assessments. Johnson correctly notes that Abbott has never voiced support for parental rights in this area. And he points out that we haven’t heard STAAR opt out mentioned by Abbott in his latest “parents rights” speechmaking. Supt. Johnson labels it for what is is: political grandstanding that has no real basis in reality when you look at Abbott’s actual beliefs as evidence by his governance of the state, his appointees at the TEA, and his non-mentions of STAAR in any of these speeches. And he closes by arguing for the complete abolition of STAAR. Superintendent Johnson, whether our supporters agree about masks and school closures is unimportant. We thank you for standing up for parents rights and for the kids on the issue of STAAR and parental opt out.

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

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” to “that’s illegal.”  However, the Texas Education Code is very clear on this issue: “a parent is entitled to access to a copy of each state assessment instrument administered under Section 39.023 to the parent’s child.” (Sec. 26.005).  With four volunteers, the law firm of Arnold & Placek set out to see what would happen when parents decided to stop taking no for an answer and demand the legal rights the Texas legislature granted to them.  The answer came today: parents do have a right to review their child’s test booklet and answer sheet.  They are not confined to the unhelpful summary data on the STAAR scoring reports.  This right of access is the first step in ending the secrecy and almost mystical air that surrounds the STAAR tests.  Teachers are threatened with criminal charges or loss of their teaching certifications if they dare to even ask their students what problems were difficult for them.  But parents still have a voice.  We are not required to sit back and accept that it is not possible to know the content of the assessment that our state legislators have dictated will control our children’s futures.  The Texas Parents’ Educational Rights Network encourages all Texas parents to request and review the STAAR assessments administered to their children.  This guide will tell you how to do it.

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