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.

I requested a meeting with our school principal.  She and I had an adversarial relationship.  I was expecting some push back.  I received none.  Instead, she was accommodating and said that she understood.  When I was not presented with what I knew to be the consequences to be, I asked directly whether my child would be retained or required to attend summer school.  She and the Magnet Coordinator said no.  My child stayed home on test days.  Life went on as usual.

I have been involved with CVPE for a couple of years and since I was opting out/refusing the test a local NPR education reporter was covering our story. 

On the last day of school without any previous warning my child's report card stated that he had been retained.  Furious I walked into the school office and requested a Grade Placement Cmte.  I was granted one and a week later I was back at school to meet with the Magnet Coordinator, my child's teacher and unbeknownst to me the School Support Officer (SSO).  After, the Magnet Coordinator, teacher and I all stated that my child was academically ready to be promoted the SSO said that it was not possible because my child did not have STAAR test scores.  After going back and forth, I saw the meeting was going nowhere so I ended the meeting.  I would advise that parents do not sign anything at this meeting.  The notes should report that you are there and what you have said but do not sign anything. 

It was around this time that the story was aired on NPR and picked up by other local media outlets (here and here).

After that meeting I emailed everyone who I could think of and ended up emailing with Dan Gohl the district's Chief Academic Officer and got a meeting with him.  He was reasonable and offered me a plan to get my son to a place where he could be promoted.  We were assigned a project.  I accepted it, although in hindsight, I should have asked for more concessions.  In my opinion it was a 6 week project that we were asked to complete in one week.  After starting off a little stressed, I stepped back and vowed not to make the experience stressful for my child.  We did what we could and were done with it.  After the project was completed, my child presented his project.  This put us in a place where we could have another Grade Placement Committee and the principal promoted my child to 4th grade.

I have to thank CVPE and especially Ruth Kravetz for the moral support and Laura Isensee, the local NPR education reporter for the media coverage.  

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

Donate Find an Event Volunteer

connect

get updates