End High Stakes Testing for Texas Students

Target: Mike Morath, Commissioner of Education, Texas

Goal: End standardized tests that decide whether a student graduates or not.

For over a decade, Texas has been using standardized tests to hold students hostage. One test a year determines whether a student moves on to the next grade level. In high school, it determines whether a student can graduate or not. Texas must stop using these unfair tests as a way to punish students.

It’s no secret that Texas’s standardized test are incredibly difficult. Many articles have been released on just how ridiculous the test questions are. Writer Sara Holbrook had a poem featured in a 2014 test, and she at once decried the validity of the questions. She spoke about how even she didn’t know the answers to the questions about a poem she wrote. Yet, this test will decide if students in junior high will pass to the next grade.

It’s even worse for high school students. If students don’t pass their standardized test (End of Course exam), they don’t get to graduate. Texas high school students have 5 tests to take in their 4 year career. If they don’t pass any one of these tests, they don’t get their diploma. How can Texas use one test to decide a student’s future, especially when that test is so contested? There is much debate on how difficult the reading passages are and the Texas Education Agency is now under fire, again, for using material that is above grade level. When 46% of students are well below grade level, these extreme tests set students up for failure.

Sign the petition to demand Commissioner Morath end high stakes testing and allow Texas students to be successful.


Dear Commissioner Morath,

For years Texas has been using the STAAR test to hold students hostage to the whims of your agency. One test a year determines whether a student moves on to the next grade level or graduates. Texas must stop using these unfair tests as a way to punish students.

TEA has been under fire every year because of the doubts of the validity of standardized tests. Recently, studies have shown that material used for these tests is above the grade level it should be at. With almost half of Texas students reading below grade level, how is that fair or standard?

Students should not be barred from graduating from high school because of an unfair test. You are the Commissioner of Education, it is your job to offer a fair education to all students. I demand that you end these high stakes tests and make sure every student has equal opportunity to be successful.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ben Mullins

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