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STAAR: What Happens If Your Student Does Not Pass?

We have discussed a lot about accommodations on the STAAR test and how to access those accommodations. But sometimes, accommodations are not enough to ensure a student passes.  So, what exactly happens when a student fails the STAAR test?

Each time a student fails a state assessment, the school district must provide the student with accelerated instruction which can take place before or after school or even in the summer. Accelerated instruction is a really fancy word for “tutoring”.

After a student fails the STAAR a second time, a “Grade Placement Committee” (GPC) will be established to prescribe the accelerated instruction program that the student must receive. The GPC includes the principal or designee, the student’s parents, and the teacher of the subject area that the student failed.

If the student fails a third time, the student is then to be retained in that grade unless the the family appeals the GPC and the GPC unanimously determines that if the student is promoted and given additional accelerated instruction, the student is likely to perform at grade level. So, in this case, the student has to have accelerated instruction after promotion.

In grades 5 and 8, students must pass both the reading and math test in order to be promoted to 6th and 9th grade. The first time a student in grade 5 or 8 fails the STAAR, they must be provided at least 2 additional opportunities to retake the test. On the 3rd try, the district may administer an alternative assessment approved by the commissioner of education, and the student may be promoted if they perform at grade level on the alternative assessment. A student in grades 5 or 8 who fails to participate in any of the required accelerated instruction cannot be promoted. A student in one of these grades that fails the state assessment but is promoted has to take all foundation curriculum subjects that are taught by teachers who meet all state and federal qualifications to teach those subjects at that grade level.

Here are some interesting facts to add…….

In 2013, nearly 9 in 10 Texas students who failed the STAAR in the fifth and eighths were still promoted in the fall of 2013. Basically, almost all the appeals for promotion were granted. So, what do you think happens to the kids that get promoted despite failing 3 times? There is some interesting data regarding the 5th grade students from 2013.

89 Percent of fifth graders who failed the reading portion of the STAAR in 2013 were still promoted. Of those students, only 19 percent passed the reading STAAR in sixth grade. For the students who were held back in fifth grade, 58 percent passed the fifth grade STAAR in 2014.

For math, 89 percent of students who failed were promoted. Of those, 24 percent passed the sixth grade STAAR in 2014. For those held back, 66 percent passed.

 

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