October 24, 2013 Senator John J. Flanagan, Chair Committee on Education
RE: The Regents Reform Agenda: "Assessing" Our Progress Oral Testimony
Dear Chairman Flanagan and Members of the Committee:
Thank you. My name is Monty Neill and I am Executive Director of FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, headquartered in Boston. We are the nation’s sole organization focused on assessment reform. We address a range of issues, including standardized test quality,
Over the summer, there's been a sharp increase in investigative reports about the companies that make standardized exams, the fraudulent school grades derived from them, and the collateral damage from testing overkill. All of this will be valuable ammunition to escalate assessment reform campaigns when school resumes as soon as next week in some parts of the south and west.
How much more evidence do policy makers need before they recognize that test-and-punish policies have failed? Learning gains have stagnated, progress toward closing the "achievement gap" has stalled, and their constituents increasingly reject the strategy. Even some of their strongest newspaper editorial page allies -- including the New York Times and Los Angeles Times -- are saying that it is time to look at alternative approaches. Enough is enough!
Major National Survey Finds Parents Strongly Oppose Standardized Testing Misuse and Overuse
Building a Successful Assessment Reform Movement -- A Three-Part Series by FairTest
FairTest staff analyze the growing resistance to high-stakes tests and propose steps toward growing a larger, more effective movement. Part I discusses the need for over-arching strategies to guide the work. Part II explains why we need to push for authentic assessments. And Part III offers specific tactics activists can employ.
The US House of Representatives Education Committee held hearings on "accountability" May 7, 2013. FairTest submitted testimony opposing high-stakes testing and test-based accountability and supporting educationally sound approaches to assessment and accountability.