Education News

Houston ISD Letter: Students Who Opt Out Of STAAR Tests Could Fail

The Houston Independent School District warns that students who don’t take the state standardized tests could have to take summer school or even be held back. But some parents disagree with the conclusion.

A growing number of parents are opting their children out of high-stakes standardized testing. The Texas STAAR exams are given to all third to eighth-grade students.

The Houston Independent School District issued a letter Thursday warning that children who don’t take state standardized tests could fail. (You can read the letter below.) HISD says those students won’t be considered qualified to automatically advance to the next grade level.

DeEtta Culbertson is with the Texas Education Agency. She says according to the law, parents are not entitled to remove their child from class to avoid a test.

“Also, the law addresses that students must be proficient in their grade in coursework in order to be promoted,” Culbertson says.

But some parents are challenging HISD’s claims. Ruth Kravetz is with Community Voices for Public Education. She says students could advance to the next grade based on their overall academic performance.

“If a child has all A’s and has gone to all their classes and had great test scores, then in that child’s record, there is no area of deficiency,” Kravetz says.

Houston ISD Letter


Opt Out Response Letter to Parents FINAL ENGLISH (PDF)

Opt Out Response Letter to Parents FINAL ENGLISH (Text)


Tomeka Weatherspoon

Tomeka Weatherspoon

Senior Producer

Tomeka Weatherspoon is an Emmy-award winning producer. She produces segments, the weekly television program Arts InSight, the short film showcase The Territory and a forthcoming digital series on innovation. Originally from the Midwest, Tomeka studied convergence journalism from the world’s first journalism school at the University of Missouri. She has...

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