There are a host of reasons for considering opting out of standardized assessments, but these thoughts go beyond the usual emotional aspects and focus on some plausible arguments to be made for the legitimacy and legality aspects of these assessments.
TEA is in violation of the Texas Education Code, these assessments have not been independently validated by entity separate and apart of the agency or those charged with developing the assessments
What are the assessments measuring? The information available to us is too vague to know what the assessments are measuring and how it correlates to the classroom learning.
They are setting schools up to fail, especially districts with particular demographics. The assessments are designed to cause neighborhood schools to fail.
The assessments present civil rights concerns, particularly for minority, refugee and illegal children.
The individual privacy rights of the child are violated, as the assessment metrics are used as data points for any number of entities, some of which remain unknown to the parents; the data of your child’s assessment follows him for the duration of his education and perhaps now into the workforce.
They serve no useful purpose to benefit the child. These assessments are NEVER used to make the child whole; they are never used to remediate the child or repair the gaps that may have been identified in his learning.
TEA In Violation of State Law
- Per Texas Education Code sec. 39.023
(a-11) Before an assessment instrument adopted or developed under Subsection (a) may be administered under that subsection, the assessment instrument must, on the basis of empirical evidence, be determined to be valid and reliable by an entity that is independent of the agency and of any other entity that developed the assessment instrument;
While the TEA claims to have fulfilled this mandate, the references that they have provided are not independent of any other entity that developed the assessment instrument; they will make arguments that the reviews were made by teachers and other professionals; however, those reviews have all shown to be interconnected to the assessment provider network.
I am awaiting a response from Alison Matney, Director of Assessment and Accountability at Katy ISD, who was seeking a response to my rebuttal to these claims that a-11 is in compliance. There has been no response since February 17, 2016.
- We Do Not Know What the Assessments are Measuring
- Considering the tests have not been validated and 1) there have been inconsistencies throughout the State in the rollout of the standards and curriculum, 2) numerous issues have been presented to the State Board regarding curriculum 3) examples have been identified of standards and curriculum that are geared toward inappropriate age/development levels; given all of these concerns, how can one reasonably determine that a standardized assessment given to students throughout the State is adequately measuring anything that the student has been taught in the term?
- Tests Are Designed To Cause Some Schools To Fail & Set Up Civil Rights Violations
- Unless Commissioner Mike Morath repeals or postpones the increase to Level II measurements that were put in place by his predecessor in the Fall of 2015, passing rates are set to increase for this year’s assessments. http://tpr.org/post/more-texas-students-expected-fail-staar-tests-year-grading-gets-tougher ORhttps://www.texastribune.org/2015/10/06/texas-ups-stakes-staar/
- With the bar set higher, the percentage of student failure is set to increase.
- Schools are experiencing a heavy influx of refugee and illegal enrollment increases, just since the beginning of the school year. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/02/08/at-least-95000-illegal-immigrant-children-flood-u-s-schools/
- Despite the immigrants’ disadvantages with language barriers and inadequate prior education, these students will be required to take most STAAR exams. (p.s. where is Lulac or LaRaza on this one? Are we not recognizing the civil rights of these children once we have allowed them into our schools? Actually, it appears we are using them as human capital as a means to a desired end result of failure.) Districts with higher percentage increases of this demographic will be set up to fail.
- Individual Child and Parental Rights
- More importantly, when your child takes these assessments, the records are permanent. They follow your child throughout their education and leave a mark for something that has not benefited them and that they had no real control over.
- Protect your child’s well being. No child should be suffering torment at the hands of the State for something that may or may not assess what he has learned and has absolutely no benefit to him, whatsoever.
- There are well documented stories throughout this State (and other) of children physically and emotionally distraught over the preparations leading up to and the assessments .
- Day in and day out, at least one parent asks, “Do I have the right…” Whether it is opting out or asking the school a question, I am dismayed at the number of people that will ask if they have the right to stand up for their children. If you believe that you do not have the right to act on your child’s behalf, you are abdicating your responsibility and parental rights to the State. For all of our kids’ sakes, don’t do that!
- No Recourse For the Student In 2014-2015
- Numerous students received notice at the end of the term that they had exactly passed STAAR assessments, only to return in the fall of the 2015-2016 term to learn that those passing assessment grades had been retracted and the student actually failed.
- The scores are meaningless in promotion and remediation and serve no useful purpose to the child.
- Year after year the students submit to these assessments and the results are never used to make the child whole in any skills that he may be identified to be deficient.
State Board of Education
Who is my State Board of Education representative?
SBOE Home Page:
Where Can I Find Opt Out Support?
Where Can I Find For Fee Legal Services?
Arnold and Placek, P.C.
Attn: Scott Placek, (512) 341-7044
Visit our community page, Katy ISD School News at: