Grand Prairie Mom Desperate for Help with Taks for Children

Updated on May 26, 2010
K.H. asks from Grand Prairie, TX
7 answers

I have 2 daughters 9 and 11. Both have to pass taks this year btoh have been in tutoring all year. My oldest has failed the reading taks and taken the math today. The school sent a letter home sayen if she don't pass the next time of course she'll repeat 5th grade. My oldest has also been going to tutoring at the school after school til 4:20 2x a week this week was the last week for any tutoring. The are passing their classwork etc.. but i'm very uneasy about the taks. I don't know what to do, i've bought them a computer,software even printed off taks booklet from the internet...i do not want my children to repeat their grades. We came from disd and they were in tag but since we've moved to grand prairie but the school is considered arlington they seem to be sooooo slow which many people told me it was going to end up this way and we should move back but i don't hink thats the answer.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated we only want whats best for our children.

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answers from Dallas on

One thing that I think has a big effect on how kids do on standardized testing is stress. Today's public school systems have kids so stressed out about tests, especially TAKS, that the kids start to second-guess themselves, change answers, and doubt their abilities to do well. I think the best thing you can do is tell your daughters that no matter what the outcome of the test, you know that they did the best they could and they should be proud of themselves. I know that doesn't help if one of them has to repeat a grade, but maybe that's what is best if they truly aren't learning the material appropriate for their grade level. Also, if a child does well in their school work, but fails a test covering the same material, that could be the sign that they need help with test-taking skills and might even need a modified testing environment. Talk to your daughters' teachers if you're concerned and they can help refer you to a diagnostician who can help them with their test-taking skills.

On the day of the test (and even the night before), make sure they eat well (no skipping breakfast), get a good night's sleep, and repeat to them as often as you can - "I'm proud of you and I know you'll do the best that you can."

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If your kids do not pass the TAKS and are being held back, there will have to be a Grade Placement Committee meeting. Be sure you're there. If you're kids have shown "adequate progress" and are socially ready, request they be promoted. A school will not want an angry, depressed, 12 year old repeating fifth grade. As a former teacher, who had a 94% passing rate for TAKS, I advise you and anyone else, to forget about all the TAKS junk that is being sold. Get a list of the objectives (main idea, summary, etc.) Have your kids select a NONFICTION article, from a KID's magazine (Time, National Geographic). Then, ask them questions about the objectives; what's the main idea, how do you know that?, summarize the story for me, using the pictures, title, etc. predict the outcome, etc. If you aren't familiar with the objectives, contact the school's Instructional Facilitator and ask them if they have some time to go over the ojectives with you. If they pass the TAKS this year, one thing you can do is have your kids READ, READ, READ. It doesn't have to be educational reading. They can read People, whatever. The better the reader, the better the test taker.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The website is and anyone can download old tests. Not all years' tests are online but a large amount are available. As a former reading teacher I would suggest that you talk to the teachers to make sure you know what strategies they are being taught at school. That way you can make sure to reinforce those strategies at home and not come up with new ones. For example we taught a very specific question strategy involving key words and wriiten justifications.
I know your kids will do great!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You can get a copy of an "old" test on the tea site. I'm not sure if you have to be a teacher to do that or not.

Another note is your school's guidance counselor. The principal and teachers are working VERY hard to make sure all the children pass because as you know, perks come with passing. The guidance counselors usually know of any extra tutors available and also might be able to guide you on where to find practice tests, etc.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

I think there is a practice test or something on the TEA website (If I even got the TEA part right). My son is transferring from a private school and if we do it this school year, he will have to take it too. We are trying to decide whether to commute to his private school for the rest of the year or go ahead and let him transfer. If you want more info I can get it bc I am waiting on the email from his counselor with the link. Just personal message me! Hopefully I will have it tommorrow!! :) C.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Kay, if you are doing the tutoring, printing off practice tests, and working with the software study aids, then what more can really be done? Of course there is the mental preparation as another mom pointed out, which is very important. It baffles me that kids can be in TAG in one school system and then be in danger of failing TAKS in another! The TAKS test though is the same no matter where they are taking it, meaning that the AISD TAKS isn't any harder than the DISD TAKS. My only advice (as a teacher of higher ed) is to keep up with the preps (tutors, programs, etc.), and if the school no longer offers this, then try SYLVAN or an outside tutoring source. Also, mentally prepare the kids-- if they really are trying their best and this is a matter of ability, then they can't be faulted for it or feel badly about it. However, if it is a mental stress issue, then use the tips from the other moms about relaxing, eating right, and just focusing on taking the test, not passing it. And just know that many teachers don't support the amount of pressure placed on kids to pass TAKS-- but at the same time, there has to be some unified measure of acquired skills and knowledge.
I hope it all works out for them.



answers from Washington DC on

my child was also in tutoring all year , and still fail to pass both taks test, honestly the teachers and school stresses the child out and by the time the taks test comes around they(kids) are just burned out! my child is 9 and he does not get a second opportunity?so,so unfair! All parent can do is support your child the most we can. I feel like I let my child down-(hurt parent)

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