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[en español]

Will you fill out this confidential opt-out petition at bit.ly/optouttexas

How can you fight the STAAR?

If you opted out of the STAAR or your child failed the STAAR you can decline HB 4545 “tutoring” and summer school for missing/failing STAAR using this letter (allowed by the state). Link at https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/covid/house-bill-4545-frequently-asked-questions_0.pdf

Parents, will you boycott the STAAR in grades 3-8? Note that high school opt-out is more complex. Sign up here at bit.ly/optouttexas. The easy link to get here is optoutexas.org. If you have questions, email [email protected]

If STAAR was just a single test given once per year with no high stakes, no one would be concerned. But STAAR is used to close schools, fire teachers and principals, narrow the curriculum and make children hate learning. It has become the most important thing in a school and no one- not teachers, not parents, not principals and not students- want that.

Here are the facts.

  • STAAR is no longer used for grades 3-8 promotion (law effective June 16, 2021). Your child can opt-out and still be promoted to the next grade.
  • Parents can decline HB 4545 “tutoring” and summer school for missing/failing STAAR using this letter (allowed by the state). 
  • If a parent refuses the STAAR in writing to the principal/teacher, the school is not required to make the student attempt the STAAR on make-up days. This means that the child can now opt out without having to be absent for the entire testing window. Texas Education letter and background here.

Here are your steps.

  1. Your child can be absent during the testing window. It varies depending on your child's grade level and your child's school OR
  2. OR submit an opt out letter. You can opt-out by informing the school that you intend to refuse the STAAR assessment by email or letter. Opt out Letter in English and Carta de Opt Out en españolKeep your student home on the assessment day for their grade level because the school likely won't have other learning activities available. Your child can return to school for regular learning during the remainder of the testing window.
  3. Decline HB 4545 summer school and tutoring the next school year. This is allowed by TEA.
  4. The state is not publicizing these changes and schools are discouraged from informing parents. Expect some resistance from the school.

Scoring and high school 

(Both require you to decline HB 4545 tutorials the next year)

  • IF A CHILD IS ABSENT THE ENTIRE TESTING WINDOW: If a student is absent during the entire testing window, the assessment will be marked as A for absent and will not be scored. No STAAR opt-out letter is required. Since students must have at least four hours to take the STAAR, you can also send your child to school late each day (less than four hours left in the school day).
  • IF A PARENT SUBMITS AN OPT OUT LETTER:  If a parent submits an opt-out letter, the child can attend school and not take STAAR without missing school. However, the blank test will be marked as scored even though the child did not take the STAAR assessment.
  • In high school, while students still need to officially pass 5 STAAR EOC exams to graduate, there are options that SOME students can use to graduate without passing/taking the STAAR EOC assessments. Read more at optouttexas.org

Teachers, parents, and school leaders know how harmful STAAR is to learning. By opting out and reaching out to state legislators, parents help improve public education for every stakeholder.

Texas has the authority to end the unrelenting focus on STAAR in our schools. The Texas Legislature can change the laws to-

  • End the use of STAAR for graduation. Tx is one of only 11 states to still require a standardized test to graduate high school.
  • End the use of STAAR to make A-F accountability school ratings/ close schools that disproportionately harm schools in communities of color. It is time to support our communities instead of punishing them.
  • End HB4545 tutoring (often 20:1 ratio) that is just test prep and unfunded. Our kids need real support, not this unfunded mandate.

The federal government only requires that a test is given but does not require the extra high stakes that Texas law requires.

Let's work together to end the high stakes of standardized testing. Let’s instead prioritize meaningful teaching and learning.

More information here at optouttexas.org.

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