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Mother and Son Tell State Senate STAAR is too Tough

<br><font size="2">A mother and son from Henrietta are fighting to change End of Course school testing in the state of Texas. </font>


A mother and son from
Henrietta are fighting to change End of Course school testing in the state of Texas.

It all started when 5th grader Caleb Obermier was left with questions unanswered when the time ran out during his EOC exam. And that had him and his mother headed for Austin hoping to make a change.

"I was taking my time and doing my strategies on my work, I wasn't even to question 30 before lunch," spoke Caleb in front of the Texas Senate.

Last month, he told Texas State Senators about his recent experience while taking the STAAR End of Course exam.

"And I could have sworn that I could have finished after lunch and when she took it up I had three questions left," he continued.

"I felt like I should have had more time and I am sure everybody across Texas was feeling that too," he told us.

That's when his mother, Kelly, who's been teaching for more than 20 years flipped into action.

"Just seeing the level of difficulty and how much it has increased, and how much longer the test is, and then to put a time limit on kids as young as 8 and 9 years old is just ridiculous. And I was frustrated last year and then when my own son, it really hit home with my own son plus my students I just felt like I had to do something," she said.

She got in contact with a grass roots group known as "TAMSA" or Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment.

And after communicating on their Facebook page and through email, two weeks later they were headed for Austin hoping to convey this message to the senate.

"The STAAR has raised the bar so high that I just don't feel like kids can reach that bar. When my own son who is almost a straight A student ran out of time and doesn't feel like he passed or failed, how many more of those kids that are the struggling learners are going to struggle from the effects of the STAAR," Kelly said.

Caleb and Kelly had four minutes to present their case, but they hope that time will be enough to make an impact.

Monday the House will vote on House Bill 5, which is what Caleb and his mother are advocating for.

The bill would reduce the number of EOC exams from 15 to 5, and let high school seniors choose their math course senior year rather than being required to take Algebra 2.

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