High-stakes testing: Not just an 'upper-middle-class problem'

In the place of this costly, misguided high-stakes system, opt-out parents imagine an effective system of education with high standards for student achievement and teacher performance. But to accomplish this, we need to stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on the STAAR. We want that money to go instead toward creating wraparound services, systems of support to help protect our neediest students from the worst effects of poverty so that they can meet the challenges of school and of their day-to-day lives. We want low-stakes, formative assessments that will accurately tell us about our students' strengths and weaknesses so their teachers can work with them in effective ways. We want peer reviews and independent oversight, mentoring and apprenticeship to help teachers fulfill their potential instead of relying on this lazy, punitive use of assessments that don't measure what they are supposed to. We want adults to evaluate adults, and we want all our children to get the rich, enriching education they deserve.     Read more

My Sunday Chat w/ HISD Chief Academic Officer

HISD parent engages in twitter dialogue with Daniel Gohl after the publishing of Lisa Falkenberg's column in the Houston Chronicle regarding HISD's high stakes testing. Read more

60 Houston Parents Boycott High Stakes State STAAR Tests

Donna Reid, mother of a seventh-grader opting out said, “It’s time to end the obsession with high stakes testing accountability. Our children need meaningful instruction, not endless tests that narrow the curriculum, are developmentally unsound, and are being improperly used to fire teachers, shame children and close schools. Instead, students’ progress should be assessed with low stakes diagnostic tests that informs teaching, but relentless benchmarking for high stakes testing must go.”   Read more

To Anna Eastman, my school board trustee: Our vote to opt out is a vote of no confidence

...when it comes to opting out, know this: our opting out is a VOTE, a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE in our school board and the way it’s choosing to embrace, implement and expand the use of high stakes testing in our schools. We’re not avoiding a test because we’re afraid — we are withdrawing our parental consent to have our children assessed, assessed in a manner inconsistent with our beliefs. Read more

I am opting out of testing and my school is supportive.

I am opting my third grader out of Reading and Math STAAR on April 21 and April 22 and my principal shares my frustrations with STAAR and the nature of high stakes testing. Read more

Nearly-40-Percent-MontclairNJ-Opt Out

The vocal testing "opt out" movement in Montclair Public Schools resulted in a nearly 40 percent test refusal rate, according to a report. Read more

Montrose parents opt out

But this year, in Houston ISD, a handful of students are opting out: A cadre of parents has joined a growing national backlash against high-stakes testing, a system they say is strangling the education it is supposed to help.  Read more

AFT President Endorses Opt Out

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, supports parents who opt out.  Last week she said that if she were a parent of children in the public schools, she would opt out also. Read more

Houston Parent Says No to TEA about testing

I would like TEA to know that the STAAR test corrupts the learning environment.  It makes the school environment toxic.  It makes teachers teach to the test.  That means that my children, and countless others, are getting less science, less history and less social studies because it isn't on the test. Read more

Opting out- My Personal Experience

There are many reasons that people have for wanting to refuse the STAAR tests.  I had my own reasons and convictions so I decided that opting out/ refusing the test would be my course of action.  The following is an account of how my case progressed.  Your results may be different.

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