Top national policy-makers finally took notice of the growing testing resistance and reform movement this week. The Council of Chief State School Officers (aka state superintendents) and the Council of the Great City Schools (urban supers) published a report admitting that standardized exam overkill was rampant across the country. In response, both U.S. Secretary of Arne Duncan and President Barack Obama issued statements of concern.
As the national testing resistance and reform movement rapidly accelerates, FairTest proposes a moratorium on all high-stakes exams to allow time to overhaul assessment at the federal, state and local levels. Check out the plan and incorporate it in your grassroots advocacy!
Resistance to the overuse and misuse of standardized tests is expanding rapidly across the nation (Guisbond, 2014). The movement’s goals are to roll back testing overkill, eliminate damaging high stakes, and create an assessment system that supports teaching and learning while providing useful information to parents, communities and states. Some states have responded to the uprising by temporarily pausing some sanctions for teachers and schools.
In this week's stories, all key public education stakeholder constituencies -- parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, community activists, and the general public -- add their voices to the ever louder call for assessment reform. Too many politicians, however, give little but lip service to the movement's demands while continuing to double down on failed test-and-punish policies. The Atlanta and Philadelphia standardized exam cheating scandals are reminders of one kind of ugly fallout from this obsession
In the past five years cheating cases have been documented in 39 states plus the District of Columbia and U.S. Department of Defense schools, according to government and news media reports compiled by the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest). Jurisdictions with schools whose unlikely score gains were flagged by the Atlanta Journal Constitution or USA Today statistical analyses are not included unless there is additional evidence to confirm the listing:
Another incredible week for the assessment reform movement -- school boards adopting strong resolutions calling for a suspension of high-stakes testing, candidates speaking out against standardized overkill, new Congressional legislation to reduce federal mandates and many excellent commentaries at the same time parents, teachers and community organizers continue to speak out! Keep the heat on.