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TEXAS PARENTS: Did your Child Fail Because of the STAAR Test?

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Students can be awarded certificates for being on the school honor roll all year and then told they failed because of grades on the state test called STAAR.

Some honor roll students are being required to attend summer school to take make-up classes in a subject they made an A or B on in class, but failed on the STAAR.  Since teachers do not know what a student missed on the STAAR test, they will be re-mediating students using the same materials used during the school year. Thus, honor roll students are being asked to learn material they already know.

Students that might pass a subject with a C in a subject also attend summer school if the fail that subject on the  STAAR test. As with honor roll students, teachers do not know what the student missed on the STAAR. It doesn’t matter, summer school is not designed to individual students. Instead, a set of prepared materials are taught in a short period of time.

If a student fails a subject in class as well as on the STAAR, the student goes to summer school and then passes to the next grade. Think about this. If a student doesn’t understand math and fails, how could this same student within the few days of summer school be taught all the math concepts presented during the school year and understand them?

After attending summer school, are students given the STAAR again?

I’ll be researching unanswered questions in this blog.

If your child failed because of the STAAR,  I suggest that you challenge the administration. After all, it is your child that is being labeled as a failure. Questions that you might want to ask are:

  • Of what value are the class grades if only STAAR grades are used for promotion?
  • If a student fails in his classes, but passes the STAAR tests, is that student promoted?
  • Do you think that with 100% accuracy, the STAAR tests access the abilities of every student?
  • Is it possible that some students understand the material, as shown by class work, but do not test well?
  • Since my child has passed his class work, do you think his teacher(s) have inflated his grades?
    If not, then his class grades reflect his understanding of the material presented. Why is he being failed if he his teacher has assessed his understanding during the entire school year and has given him a passing grade?

If CSCOPE was used, point out that the vendor selling CSCOPE lessons has chosen to delete these lessons and never sell them again. In exchange the CSCOPE lessons will not be reviewed by the State Board of Education and the results publicized. Since there is evidence that some of the CSCOPE lessons were plagarized, some have incorrect information, some have biased political content, etc…… Ask:

  • What evidence is there that using CSCOPE lessons has prepared my child for the STAAR?
  • Is it possible that my child has learned the incorrect content of the CSCOPE lessons, thus failed the STAAR?

While you are asking questions, find out what material is being used in summer school. Also, ask if the school plans to return to using textbooks. Ask if CSCOPE has been removed.

Parents, please don’t let school administrators try to bully you. Any administrator worth his salt will sit on the same side of the desk with you instead of behind the desk where he/she is in charge. This is a meeting to discuss your child and what is best for him/her. It is not a court case or shouldn’t be.

Some administrators make an effort to confuse parents with education terms not familiar to most parents, nor do they have to be. Terms such as, vertical alignment, instructional information documents, year at a glance schedules, alignment with the TEKS, etc…………………… If you do not understand what is being said, stop the speaker as ask for explanation. Know that just because you do not understand what I call “Educaneze,” which is educational buzz words, don’t think you would be considered stupid if you admit this. It is unprofessional for school administrators to do this, but too many want to be in control. Keep reminding yourself that it is your child that will be punished if you do not stand up to this person. Also, you could very well be the one who gives other parents the courage to do the same.

Do not go alone. Make sure you have someone with you. Before you leave, restate what you understand and ask for confirmation that it is correct. Either record the meeting, which is best, or take notes and ask the administrator to sign them. Do not think about this making the administrator angry. It shouldn’t if they are providing accurate information. Just keep reminding your self that you are standing in the gap for your child.

The hardest part or at least it is for me, is to not get angry. Take deep breaths to keep your self calm. Don’t let the administrator rush you. After all, your child is being failed and you want evidence to support this decision.

Please share your experience so other can benefit from it. One parent questioned his child being failed and the decision was reversed. The honor roll student does not have to repeat an entire year of social studies.

 

by Janice VanCleave

www.txcscopereview.com 

 

 

 

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12 comments. Leave a Reply

  1. Frances Castle

    My child is having to take summer school because of failing the Reading portion of this test. He made all A’s n B’s, including AP math and high school Spanish – he earned high school credits for in the 8th grade. He already has gone thru 2-3 weeks of 1 hour tutoring session prior to the end of school after failing the test initially. We were informed yesterday that he failed the 2nd time and has to attend summer school. I have talked w/ the asst. principal at the school where summer session(s) will be held as well as the test adm. of the school. I will try to attach a link that was sent to me – showing the “description” of what portions of the reading test he failed. He only improved 2 points after the in school tutoring – still needing an additional 12 pts to “pass”. I am not an “educator” but am fairly intelligent…I read the info sent to me and thought I was reading something from an alternate universe or as stated above “Educanese”. So, an honor roll student, earing 2 high school credits in the 8th grade cant read. Yuuup, that’s what they say!

    I don’t like the fact that my child is a pawn on some ones private, agenda driven, game board. He is just job security for summer school teachers, adm personnel, bus drivers, etc. Oh yeah, summer school is free as well as transportation to and from….your tax dollars at work !! If he does not pass this test the third time I will probably take him out of the school system and homeschool him. I have either birthed an idiot savant or a child that can memorize entire texts and info just from the verbal expressions of a teacher – no reading or studying helped my child reach the grades and achievement this past year. (sarcasm off)

    The way I found the STAAR information was this… I Googled “8th grade staar reading test, understanding /analysis across genres”. A link came up from TEA called 1. [PDFSTAAR Reading Assessment – Texas Education Agency

    The URL started out like this http://www.tea.state.tx.us/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id…libID...

    The testing adm also led me to believe, that he would eventually be passed “by committee” after he completed summer school, regardless of the testing results – due to his performance during the school year. She also asked that all parents need to contact their representatives in Austin – immediately. Apparently the failure rate was excessive and this is causing the teachers and other school personnel many, many problems.

  2. Karen

    My son did fail Algebra. He ‘passed’ the STAAR. He was going tobe passed on to Geometry and Algebra II. Insanity. I asked for him to repeat first semester Algebra and the school refused.to remediate him because ‘he’ll have to take the same STAAR as all 9th graders.
    I pulled him out and he has repeated Algebra I and will never take another STAAR again. They are a complete waste for everyone…students, teaxhers and parents.

    • Kumberly Garrett

      Karen I’ve never done any of my child’s homework. She’s passing with A’s and B’s. These tests are a waste of time and they are teaching the kids anymore it’s all about this dumb test

  3. Jason

    there is a common occurrence of parents both doing homework/projects for their kids and asking for special exceptions to late homework. Often times the administration will back the families and not the teacher when it comes to giving a well deserved F to a student, or zeros for late homework. This gives the false impression that our kids are learning, but what they are learning is that there isn’t any consequences. If our kid doesn’t do their work, are we ready for them to learn the hard lesson of real life? I’m not saying that every instance of passing the class and failing the STAAR is because of this, but as parents we should ask “have I asked for exceptions for my kid that have put them in this situation?” if so, making more excuses for them going to help.

    • Kumberly Garrett

      I’m going through the same problem. I think these tests are a waste of time

  4. CJ

    The misinformation here is enormous. Lets begin.

    1. Since teachers do not know what a student missed on the STAAR test, they will be re-mediating students using the same materials used during the school year.

    Teachers already have results for students on their STAAR exams, broken down by percentage success in testing categories as well as by TEKS.

    2. Students can be awarded certificates for being on the school honor roll all year and then told they failed because of grades on the state test called STAAR.

    A student failing the STAAR test and failing a class are two events that are mostly separate of each other. Being held back due to STAAR results does not occur in every grade level, and even then a student can be promoted by a local committee.

    You should seriously consider what it means to fail a STAAR exam, lets suppose in 8th grade math. The accuracy needed for passing the STAAR is less than 45%. Considering that a multiple choice test on nothing you know should net you a 25, this shouldn’t be a challenge. Would you want your child to move onto algebra 1 if they knew less than half of the 8th grade math curriculum?

    Also, if a A or B honor roll student fails a STAAR, then I would question the teacher that allowed them to have an A or B all year long. The percentage of questions to pass STAAR exams are currently extremely low. A quality teacher should be able to discern which students are in danger of failing the STAAR.

    3. After attending summer school, are students given the STAAR again?

    Yes. The requirement to attend additional class during summer is something that is required by the state. If you have a problem with it, chances are it out of the schools hands. If that is not satisfactory to you, do not let your child attend the summer school and be satisfied with them being in the same grade next year.

    A personal note:

    The textbook is not the be all, end all for students. Nearly all of students today are electronically driven, and lack the ability to interpret information off of a textbook page with any degree of accuracy. While some of the information in CSCOPE is inaccurate, at least the lessons tried to reach multiple learning styles, whereas a textbook definitely does not.

    Additionally, CSCOPE will not be removed in many districts, although the lessons will be. I can live with seeing the lessons go, some of which really needed to go, but the some of the documents are invaluable to beginning teachers.

    Your questions for readers to present to administration:

    -Of what value are the class grades if only STAAR grades are used for promotion?

    They are there so parents can accurately determine what their children are doing in class. Is the value of a class grade diminished by STAAR? Sure. But they must earn both credit from the schools, and pass the STAAR.

    -If a student fails in his classes, but passes the STAAR tests, is that student promoted?

    In most situations, they will not be. I am sure there are loopholes to work around this however.

    -Do you think that with 100% accuracy, the STAAR tests access the abilities of every student?

    No, because nothing measures all students the same because no student is the same. That being said, what tool are you okay with to ensure that students know the information well, and that the teacher is not artificially inflated grades to reduce work?

    -Is it possible that some students understand the material, as shown by class work, but do not test well?

    This question will become more pertinent when the passing standards are closer to 70%. Now? Not even a factor.

    -Since my child has passed his class work, do you think his teacher(s) have inflated his grades?
    If not, then his class grades reflect his understanding of the material presented. Why is he being failed if he his teacher has assessed his understanding during the entire school year and has given him a passing grade?

    Fair question. In fact, this is the most important one.

    • Danielle

      CJ,

      I have a question. I have a friend and her son did not pass the STARR testing. He also got one F and the rest D’s. I thought D’s were passing. We are confused as to how everything works. We have tried to talk to the school but they send us in circles. Please advise. thanks

      • CJ

        D’s will provide passing scores for credit, and the F’s will not. A couple of questions real quick to be able to answer you though:

        1. What grade is the child in?
        2. What tests did he not pass?

  5. Lana

    My youngest child graduated back in 2011. BUT, he failed the TAAKS test EVERY year for several years. I paid good money for a good tutor, a soon to be professor of math to help him to learn so he could finally pass it. Well, come graduation he was allowed to WALK and THEN when he went to the table to get his REAL diploma he was told he couldn’t have it because he hadn’t passed the math portion again!! Was we mad?! We had to get his transcript and take it to the church that he’d been homeschooled several years at and BUY a diploma for $100.00. YES, he had all passing grades BUT the TAAKS test math part he never passed!! That’s sorry in my book!

  6. Sandi

    My question is bottom line is it the parents decision to hold back their child? I’m thinking in a situation where the student is an A-B honor roll students for all of middle school but when it comes to the STAAR test in 8th grade he just cant pass it.

  7. sunni

    My 5th grade son, got B’s and C’s all year. I feel he did well and worked hard all year. He passed his math and science portion of the STAAR testing. He retook the reading portion and missed the passing grade by 4 questions, the school asked me to meet them to discuss summer school and retake the STAAR soon after or he would not go on to 6th grade, glad we did our reasearch online. I went in with my boyfriend for support. Glad he went I would have easily gave in out of fear of not knowing my childs rights. So, we didnt back down, we insisted on opting out of the staar testing. Signed a paper waiving my son from the staar, they gave him an assignmet to complete and turn in July when we meet again with administration. In this case, his school grades were good, and summer school wouldnt help. I feel happy about the decision we made for our family. Good luck to all you stressed out families

  8. yolanda cepeda

    my son’s report card says that he was promoted but in small letters under neath the promoted word it says that he has to go to summer school for failing the english portion of the starr exam even though he passed with all A & B’s in his regular classes. Does he really have to go even though he was just a freshman.


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