• The Dyslexia Initiative

STAAR Testing Protection to include 504

by Julie McKinley

In Response to House Bill 657, I have written to State Representative Diego Bernal’s office to request that 504 be taken into consideration for STAAR Testing. The bill focused on IEPs, but most Dyslexia gets covered under 504.

Current HB reads “...This Special Education Testing bill requires each student’s Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee to convene if the student failed the STAAR after the first administration. The committee can then make the decision to forego retesting the student if they have successfully met their measurable academic goals outlined in the Individualized Education Program (IEP). The point is to focus on student progress, not force them to re-take tests that do no measure their true achievement.

In the fifth grade, the future of a special education student can be determined by a standardized test score. Even if a special education student is severely behind grade level, the student is put through the same testing process as a mainstream student which may or may not leqad to the most accurate results.

I do not believe that the success of a special education student should rest solely on a standardized test score. This legislation gives the ARD Committee, which includes the student’s parent or guardian, the option of intentionally and carefully deciding whether the student has sufficiently achieved their measurable academic goals regardless of one test score, and not subject them to the indignity of unnecessary re-testing. ...”

I spoke with Anita Fernandez at Bernal’s offices. She asked that we chime in to share our stories. I encourage each and everyone one of us to connect with this office.

Her contact info is Anita.Fernandez@house.texas.gov. She was quite wonderful and fully understood where we are coming from. Other contacts listed on the bill itself include:

Mia Balderas


(210) 308-9700 Office and (210) 216-6909 mobile.

I believe Bernal’s office is true to their word and will be a great partner.


Originally posted on our former North Texas Dyslexia page on 05/15/2018. The Texas legislative session has closed.

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