STAAR narrows the curriculum and disproportionately harms communities that need us the most. At higher need schools, it leads to principal and teacher turnover at alarming rates, causing loss of stability and innovation.

Please join CVPE on Sunday, April 24th, from 2:30-4:00 pm for a zoom meeting about STAAR, opt-out, and the mental health needs of students. RSVP at

Last Thursday, at the HISD Board meeting, Karina, a parent shared, “My eldest is in the 9th grade and up until April 5th hadn’t read ONE single book in his English class. They didn’t read ANY books because they were preparing for the STAAR test.”

Crystal, a high school senior, also spoke at the board meeting. She said, “Although I had an amazing science teacher, I did not have the privilege of doing many hands-on experiments in my Biology class because we were so busy practicing for STAAR. I was privileged enough to have excellent reading teachers who allowed me to read novels rather than STAAR passages. Because of this, I grew in my learning without being limited to STAAR multiple-choice questions. Many students don't have that opportunity. We should be spending less money on STAAR.” Click on the photo below to hear the entire speech.

Here are three ways you can help end the high stakes of STAAR in Texas.

Dear State Legislators- Please change these laws. The Texas State Legislature 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 do this.
  • End the use of STAAR for school A-F accountability ratings and other high stakes. Thank you for your tine.

Dear HISD Board members- Please reduce STAAR’s high stakes by reducing the number of HISD-required benchmark tests like the Renaissance 360 (3-5 times annually), the BOY, MOY, EOY and mock STAAR tests. Please also end the use of STAAR to evaluate, reward, and fire principals and teachers. Please do everything within your authority to ensure that students, teachers, and school leaders are evaluated based on learning and not on a STAAR score. Thank you for your time.

Without these high stakes, STAAR would simply be a test that children take once per year.  It, or a better substitute, would simply be used to decide where to allocate more resources. Can you imagine how much more meaningful learning time and general well-being there would be if we did not use standardized tests to fire teachers, shame children, and close schools? 

Ya basta STAAR accountability.





Working Together to Strengthen Houston's Public School System