HISD cannot make your child take summer school for failing or missing the STAAR test

Once again, HISD is threatening parents and misrepresenting information. The district cannot mandate summer school for a student who has failed or missed a STAAR test. That decision can only be made by the grade placement committee comprised of a parent, a teacher and an administrator. Read more

CVPE parents and students speak to HISD school board about high stakes testing

Missed the board meeting on May 14? Parents, teachers and students from across the city-Hispanic, African American, Asian and White, middle class and working class- spoke out against high stakes testing in board testimony. Read more

Opting Out of High Stakes testing-A School Reform Initiative

Although I am passionate about these issues, choosing to opt-out was a difficult decision. As a former public school teacher and current instructor in the College of Education at the University of Houston, I never dreamed that I would be encouraging K-12 students and their parents to skip school!  Read more

Crunch time near for Major Education Bills

With just over a week left in the 84th Legislature, it’s make-or-break time for bills. Ahead of another big deadline Saturday — when Senate bills must make it out of House committees — here's where the big education measures stand. Read more

Trustees aloof while supporters reach 500 in Week 1

Sign the petition at www.endovertesting.org. Make it HISD policy to limit district-wide standardized assessments to one or two per year, end the practice of district snapshots and benchmarks, and return responsibility of testing students for mastery back to teachers and principals. Read more

State PTA does not speak for parents on parent trigger

At the Texas House Public Education Committee hearing on parent trigger on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, Dinah Miller, Richardson Council of PTA legislative chair, expressed her disappointment with Texas PTA support of SB 14 stating that it was not voted on by PTA members nor mentioned at the Texas PTA legislative day at the Capitol.  Raise Your Hand Texas's David Anthony, Dr. Julian Vasquez-Heilig and CVPE parent, Claudia Rios's testimony spoke out forcefully against parent trigger as well. Read more

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

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