Earlier this month, hundreds of parents in the Greater Houston area opted their children out of the STAAR test to protest the high stakes testing culture in our schools.
These include parents from 32 HISD schools and 25 Houston area school districts with approximately 60% of opt out families of color and close to 30% of limited means.
To join the fight for meaningful instruction, including the arts, in our schools, complete the form here.
Some of the students attended an Opt Out Academy [LINK to VIDEO] which is a temporary school for children who are opting out of STAAR. Working parents can leave their children at the Opt Out Academy, free of charge, during testing weeks when they cannot send them to school. The Opt Out Academy is run by experienced teachers and parents who intentionally provide children with learning experiences that are often neglected in schools because of the time dedicated to test prep. These include purposeful writing, math, science, social studies, art, drama, PE, civics, and music lessons. Children are given ample recess time, allowing them to run, play, and socialize, an important developmental activity which is sometimes ignored at school. Finally, the Opt Out Academy is a way for children and parents to meet other children and parents who are opting out of STAAR and to form networks of support.
To support the opt out academy donate here.
To reserve a spot in Opt Out Academy, sign up here. Space is limited and confirmation is required.
Reasons to join the Opt Out Movement
To support a more meaningful curriculum, including the arts, ethnic studies, and civic engagement
To support low-stakes diagnostic testing but NOT high-stakes standardized testing
To support empowering teachers and creating valid reliable systems to evaluate teachers (not STAAR)
To support allocating resources so our schools can have nurses, counselors and librarians again
To oppose inequality in our schools
To oppose the high cost of standardized testing
LOCAL GOALS: End the use of standardized test scores to evaluate teachers and principals in HISD. Permanently end the use of STAAR as a promotion standard in grades not required by the state. Reduce test prep to make room for meaningful instruction.
STATE GOALS: Abolish A-F School Accountability System. Limit standardized testing to no more than required by federal law. Abolish the use of standardized test scores as a promotion standard in any grade.