On behalf of CVPE, parents, students and teachers everywhere, thank you for standing up for public education and opting out of one or more high stakes standardized tests next week or in May. We also invite you to attend the next CVPE meeting on April 2 in case you need assistance, want to share your story or want to bring a friend. There is power in numbers.
Your decision to opt out of the STAAR test is a powerful protest against the way the data is being used. We are against the use of test scores in teacher evaluations and test scores as promotions standards. We are not against all testing but are against a test prep curriculum and the inequitable and harmful way in which the data is used. Low stakes diagnostic testing can be a meaningful component of a well-rounded curriculum. High stakes testing is not. Read more reasons to opt out here and details about opting out here.
Last year 620,000 parents opted their children out of high stakes testing to promote an equitable and strong public education for all of our children. Make your efforts count and sign up at bit.ly/optout2016.
The first round of Texas STAAR testing starts on Tuesday. Here is the testing schedule:
March 29-- Writing: 4th & 7th; Math: 5th & 8th
March 30-- Reading 5th & 8th
March 31-- Make-up days (any test)
April 1 --Make-up days (any test)
The second round of testing is on May 9-13 for Grades: 3, 4, 6 & 7 (Reading & Math) and Grades: 5 & 8 (Science, Soc St & Reading and Math Retest)
Absences during testing: Whether you are in HISD or another school district, if you do not want the score to count as a zero, your child must stay home the week of testing.
If you keep your child at home or take your student to the Opt Out Academy during testing, the student will receive an "A" for absent. A child does not need a doctor’s note for an excused absence of 5 or less days.
Your child could attend school everyday of the testing week, opt out of the STAAR, but he/she will receive a raw score of zero and the lowest possible scale score for the grade/subject. This score for a test they never even took will be used for your school’s scorecard and, in HISD, it is still used for teacher evaluation as well.
You may be asked to sign the HISD Opt Out Policy but it is not a requirement and most of us are choosing not to sign it.
The following tests are not requirements for promotion to the next grade in any school district in Texas: Grades 3,4,6 and 7 (all subjects) and Grades 5 & 8 (Science and Social Studies). Read more at optouttexas.org.
For grades 5 & 8, the STAAR is a promotion standard for reading and math. Parents should expect to have a Grade Placement Committee (GPC) before the end of the year. A GPC is a committee made up of the parent(s), teacher(s) and principal or designee. The designee must know the student and be familiar with him or her as a student. While the committee actually may consider STAAR test scores, they are also obligated to look at many factors, including grades, other standardized assessments, life experiences and other At GPC, determinations are made about accelerated instruction (AI), whether it is needed, what will be, if needed and whether to promote.
If your child is signed up to attend the Opt Out Academy next week, you will receive another email with the release form and other details.
You are pioneers. We need more parents like you to act. Speak about the concerns that you have with other parents and invite them to the next Community Voices for Public Education on April 2 from 12:30-2pm at Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church in The Heights.
If you want to hold a meeting at your house about opt out or have any further questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to speak to someone on the phone, call Mindy Lloyd Wilson at 713-405-9984.