http://txedrights.net has created a step-by-step process on how to opt out of the Texas STAAR test. They even have a Facebook page in case you have questions. It can be found here https://www.facebook.com/txedrights
The STAAR is a long and complicated process. We’ve put together this guide to help parents opt out of the assessment. We have tried to make it easy and non-confrontational for you! Schools will state that they cannot permit your child’s absence from school because he/she must take these assessments; some go as far as falsely claiming federal law requires all students to take the test which is not true. It is time to stand up for our children’s education. Join the hundreds and thousands of parents locally, state-wide, or nationally who are opting out in order that they may have a better future by not being standardized against other students on test day because one size does not fit all when it comes down to how best to prepare each individual student according to their needs which include many things.
Inform the school that you plan to opt-out of standardized testing. You are not asking them for permission, but letting them know your decision. Here is a Master Opt-Out letter available if needed; customize it according to what information and resources will best suit your needs as well! Make it clear that you object strenuously against assessments being given during grades 3rd through 8th grade.
When you receive a refusal from the school, send them a reply letter explaining why it is illegal for them to refuse your request. You can also threaten legal action if need be!
You have two choices at this point. Either (A) keep your child home on STAAR Test days or send them to school with a note that they’re unavailable for testing and refuse any attempts by teachers or officials to assess him/her; OR alternatively (B), which we recommend if possible be aware some schools have told children during testing that their parents just called and said it was OK to take the assessment. If you go this route, create a password that the child must hear before they take the assessment. If the teacher can’t repeat it, the child doesn’t take the assessment. Though we recommend (B) ultimately the choice is yours, keep your child home on testing days if you feel more comfortable this way.
It is important to be aware of the test days and windows for STAAR testing. School districts can assess students up until 12 pm on these dates, but no later than 3 hours after its main administration day has passed (or 5 pm if it’s a weekend). You will find all available information about how schools choose their tests here!
Some schools have permitted students who refuse to test to return immediately without being assessed. They require that the student and parent come together before school in order to write “refused” on any future assessments, which is a common-sense approach for handling refusal to test situations; it keeps them enrolled while minimizing absences due to missing out on important educational opportunities like lessons learned through mistakes made during class time. You can request Return to Class on Makeup Days using this letter.
The parents of a child who refuse to take an assessment on one administration day can send them a “Do Not Score” letter (click here) which will still show up in their academic history but won’t affect what’s taught or grades given. You could also ask the district attorney to investigate the falsification of data that accompanies the scoring of refused assessments. (see this article)
If your child has already missed too many days during the school year the school district may try to use this as leverage. They may threaten truancy charges or send notices about truancy. You should not ignore this. Rather, inform the school that you have engaged in a home school program on the dates of absence. Let them know that your program included reading, writing, social studies, science, and citizenship. Once you have done that, you will have laid the foundation for a defense of truancy charges. It is likely that the school district will not proceed further at that point. For more information on Dual Enrollment Home Schooling, read this.
Promotion is not dependent on STAAR results in ANY GRADE! There is a recent change in the law that requires schools to provide 30 hours of tutoring (in a 3:1 ratio) for each STAAR assessment not passed. (HB 4545). Parents can opt-out of this (see letter) and schools are not permitted to remove a child from foundation or enrichment curriculum to tutor them (i.e. no loss of electives!). Review school forms and enrollment documents carefully. NEVER waive the 3:1 tutoring ratio unless it is part of an agreement that you are satisfied with to minimize or eliminate tutoring. Never sign it as part of general enrollment documents.
Here is a sample letter that you can customize to send to your child’s teacher. Click here.
Copyrighted Material used by permission of TxEdRights.net.