Our Children are Being Harmed

In Letter to the Editor by Reporter News

In the not so distant past, teaching to a test was not acceptable. Now all Texas schools do nothing else. The Texas Education Service Centers are now training “instruction coaches” to monitor teachers. Coaches control what, when, and how teachers present instruction materials. No frills! No enrichment! Just basic information from the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills).

Schools are hiring these learning coaches (a.k.a School Gestapo) to monitor teachers to make sure they are all on the same page at the same time and that no one moves ahead. This prevents teachers from diversifying to meet real needs of the students.

This misguided notion that the same amount of medicine will cure the lack of high STAAR test results is a sickness within itself.

  1. I strongly believe that every parent should opt their children out of the STAAR/EOC tests. My reasons:
  2. The constant test preparation and repetitive tests take away valuable learning time
  3. The tests are written above readability level insuring higher failure rate.
  4. Many questions reflect opinion over fact forcing students to accept beliefs or slants to pass
  5. Threats of retention due to failure of one test is unreasonable stress for children
  6. The data from these tests concerning personal information about children is passed on to strangers as a highly marketable item
  7. The lack of quality of the STAAR/EOC tests makes them an invalid assessment indicator
  8. No one test can accurately assess the total knowledge and abilities of a student.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY this testing frenzy is hurting our children.

From crying and nervous stomachs to refusal to go to school and unnecessary summer sessions, children are being harmed by this incessant need to push a money-making testing system where materials are age-inappropriate and designed for children to fail. Because there is more money to be made in remediation than in success we will not see a change unless we demand it.

WE NEED TO TAKE A STAND FOR OUR CHILDREN!

More and more parents are opting their children out of STAAR/EOC tests.

Are there consequences for opting out of the STAAR?

Each school district makes their own rules about this. Find out what these rules are and decide for yourself which is the greater harm for your child.

After considering the consequences, if you plan to opt your children out of STAAR/EOC tests do it now. Opt out forms can be found on TXedrights.net

You can expect the school to deny your petition and TxEDRights has a denial reply form. This site has information that will help you if you choose to opt your children out of the STAAR/EOC. Contact information is available.

~Janice VanCleave

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