In 2014, we told Newschannel 6 viewers about a Texoma parent who decided to opt her 4th grader out of taking the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam.
This year, Christy Wade's son is in the 5th grade and she has chosen to opt him out of taking the STAAR exam once again. Wade feels as though the STAAR exam is not a fair test to students and to teachers.
“The teacher is the best person that can tell you if your child is ready to move on or not," said Wade.
We reached out to the Associate Superintendent for W.F.I.S.D., Michael Kuhrt about what it means if a 5th grader or a student in an exit year (8
grade) doesn't take the STAAR exam.
“8th grade and 5th grade are Student Success Initiative (S.S.I.) years. Students have to pass the STAAR test in order to graduate," said Kuhrt.
Kuhrt also said that it's the parents right to choose if they want to opt their child out of taking the STAAR exam, but there are 2 things that can happen.
“A student who opts out, if they're absent on the day of testing, nothing happens. If a student shows up on the day of testing and their parents choose to opt out and the student chooses not to take the test then that test is still scored as a failure and is still submitted to the state, but its coded as an "s”, that means scored,” said Kuhrt.
A failed test results in an S.S.I. committee to be formed which includes the parent, an administrator, a teacher and the counselor.
“They get together and they talk about the child and determine if the child will be or has the potential to be successful at the next grade, looking at their total school record, courses they've taken, tests they've taken in the past and everything like that," said Kuhrt.
“I have a right to be in that grade placement committee, so they already know that I want to be there. I am not going to let them hold my A/B honor roll student back in a grade that he is already proven he can pass," said Wade.
“We value our parents' input. We want to know and we want to make sure that we make the best decision for every body's kids, but at the same time we also have standards and we also have rules and responsibilities that we have to follow," said Kuhrt.
Wade said that her son's school has been very supportive of her opt out decision.
Because her child has been at home from school Monday and Tuesday, she has been filling his free time with meaningful things.
STAAR testing began all over the state of Texas on Monday and will continue Wednesday, April 1st, Tuesday, April 21st and Wednesday, April 22nd.