Parents Can Officially Sue Texas Education Agency on Use of Standardized Tests

After a year long battle in the courts regarding illegally obtained test results, Texas’ Third Court of Appeals agree parents can sue the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

Image from Stop STAAR

Last year Arnold & Placek, P.C. law firm sued the TEA on behalf of parents challenging the 2016 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) results.

In 2015, the Texas legislature passed legislation, HB 743, requiring that the STAAR assessments be designed in such a way that (a) 85% of students in grades 3–5 could finish the assessments in less than two hours, and (b) 85% of students in grades 6–8 could finish the assessments in less than three hours.

However, when Texas students took the assessments over nine months later, the TEA had failed to change the design of the assessments, relying on the previous design with a four hour completion time.

Parents out of Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Beaumont who were subject to penalties as a result of this illegal assessment were seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the TEA from penalizing, or requiring that districts penalize, students based on these illegally obtained results.

This means parents get to argue the merits of the case now, proceeding to discovery. TEA tried to throw out the case two times and Stop STAAR won both rounds of that.

Stop STAAR plans on suing to throw out the 2016 scores because the system starts to break if one year is thrown out.

A committee to Stop STAAR is a grassroots fundraising campaign to raise money to support litigation against TEA, and they are the force behind this victory.