Marlin ISD joins class-action suit

Marlin ISD says it's the first school district in the state to join the class-action lawsuit.

MARLIN - Marlin ISD said it's the first school district in the state to join a class-action lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency on the STAAR Test.

The school board unanimously voted to do so in its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The Lawsuit, Lewis, et al v. Morath, stems from STAAR Test results for the 2015-16 school year and asks a judge to prevent the TEA from using those results against schools and students.

The suit and Marlin ISD Superintendent Mike Seabolt claim the test is illegal, that it doesn't allow students enough time to finish.

House Bill 743 says for the state to adopt a test, 85 percent of 3rd-5th grade students have to be able to finish in two hours, three hours for 6th-8th grades.

The lawsuit says that isn't the case and shows surveys to that point.

Marlin ISD is currently not accredited by the TEA.  In fact, the district operated in 2015-16 on an agreement with the state that if they didn't meet standards by the end of last school year, the TEA could take over Marlin ISD.

"Marlin has had some academic troubles for a very long time," Seabolt said.  "We have an agreement with the TEA that was in place, an abatement agreement, to keep Marlin ISD open.  You know, we look at the test the same way the parents do.  The test violated state law and Marlin should not be held accountable for a test that violates state law."

The school board also allowed Seabolt to file an appeal of the test results.

He said the district is looking at all of its options to keep the school open, adding, "Someone forgot there are kids here."

Accreditation for the 2016-17 school year will be released at the end of February.


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