We have received a disturbing number of reports of students being forced to complete the makeup STAAR via lies and coercion. We know that schools are required to offer the assessment to the child, but several reports have come in that the child refused the assessment and was told “you can’t write refused on it.” Others were told “you have to complete it, it’s the law.” At least one child was denied the opportunity to ask their mother if it was OK to take it. Yet another report (second hand) claims that the school told the mother that if she did not tell the child to take the assessment the TEA had instructed them to forcibly take the child to the testing room and make her to the assessment. It is reported the mother asked the TEA about this and no such instruction was ever given. Opt out parents who return their children on makeup days are assisting the school by letting them count the refusal as a participation. It’s wrong of the TEA to do that, but there is absolutely no excuse for certified educators to lie to children and parents just to make a kid give them data. In almost every one of these instance the school is forcing, tricking or convincing the child to disobey their parents. Such actions destroy any bond of trust between the parent and the school.
If your child is forcibly tested on make up days against your instructions, and the child attempted to refuse but was not permitted, please do the following:
1. Take a deep breath and relax, we need to focus.
2. Assemble all your e-mails and other communications with the school that preceded the STAAR.
3. Write down your recollection of what you were told verbally, including names, dates, and the precise words as best you recall them before the incident occurred. Then write down everything you remember about what happened and how you learned of this. Note who said what and their emotional state.
4. If your child is OK, have them write down what happened in their own handwriting, or audio or video record them giving their account. Do this as soon as the child is able. Please do not prompt or guide them. Before you start remind them to use names and the exact words people said, including the child. After you have done this, go over it with the child and make notes f any names the child left out or statements they were not clear about. Do not re-video the child and do not have them re-write their account.
5. File an Incident Report form with www.txedrights.net (it is on the website). Please provide all information requested. We will follow up with you after the report is reviewed. Please do not e-mail us video or documents until we request them.