Texas parents challenge STAAR testing

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- As it stands now, the Texas Education Agency does not allow students to opt out of standardized tests, but a growing number of parents are challenging that and lawmakers seem to be listening.

Parents like Claudia Deleon and Christine Cullen said they have a moral objection to the STAAR tests.

DeLeon said, "I decided to not be a part of the system, to not allow my child's data to be used to reward or punish his teachers."

She kept her son home on STAAR test days last year and she's doing the same thing again this year.

Cullen is following in her footsteps.

They said the test places too much stress on their children and that prepping for the test takes away valuable time in the classroom.

"It's not there to help the schools improve," said Cullen. "The money that could be going to school resources for the children in the schools are instead being diverted to a private company."

There are a few bills being tossed around in Austin, and one of them would allow parents of high school students who do poorly on standardized tests to appeal to a grade placement committee.

That committee would look at other factors to decide whether or not the student can be promoted to the next grade.

Deleon says she did that with her son last year after he didn't take the STAAR test; he was able to turn in a project instead.

"Any subject that is not going to be tested is thrown to the wayside," said Deleon.

Both moms are hopeful Texas lawmakers will rethink standardized testing. Until then, they will continue to protest.

According to HISD, if high scoring students don't take the tests, schools and teachers would not get credit for those scores. If a child shows up and refuses to take the test, a zero will be submitted.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.