With the school year ending around the nation, the assessment resistance and reform movement is focusing its energies on Congress and state legislatures to end policies encouraging test overuses and misuses, which that opt-out activists and their allies have exposed.
Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, delivered a thoughtful and passionate talk to FairTest and our guests on receiving her Hero in Education award on June 4. She traces the links between testing and the social inequalities it perpetuates. View the 5-minute video here. https://youtu.be/mL6F7JCzOQ4
With stories from more than half of the 50 states, this week's news clips show the expanding breadth, depth and clout of the assessment resistance and reform movement. You can help strengthen support for grassroots activism by making contributing to the campaign for Less Testing, More Learning https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/fairtest
National "We Now Know That Students Cannot Be Tested Out of Poverty"
Across the U.S., there has been no let up in grassroots pressure for meaningful assessment reforms at both the national, state and district levels as the final month of the public school year gets underway.
More victories for the assessment reform movement this week as activists move into the policy and electoral arenas: the PARCC consortium votes to reduce testing time; Florida suspends high-stakes for end-of-course exams; Colorado's governor signs compromise legislation, Wisconsin blocks test-based teacher assessment, and New Yorkers elect many allies to school boards.
The end of the 2014-2015 school year is drawing near, but the movement to roll back standardized exam overkill has not slowed for a moment. Both in Washington DC and in dozens of state capitals the pressure from grassroots testing reformers is forcing policymakers to debate proposals to reduce testing overuse, eliminate some high-stakes consequences and stop penalizing students who opt out. At the same time, the volume of commentaries supporting real assessment reform is growing rapidly.
U.S. Write Your Senators to Support Less Testing, No More High-Stakes
As standardized exam season winds down, heavy pressure from the grassroots testing resistance movement is posting multiple policy reform victories. Just this week, Texas essentially eliminated graduation testing requirements for most high school seniors. Backed by a powerful movement of parents and educators, the Colorado legislature overwhelmingly voted to send the governor a package that cuts state-mandated testing hours by more than 30%, supports parental out-out rights, and allows districts to pilot alternative assessments.
During the final weeks of the spring 2015 standardized exam season, the testing resistance and reform movement is surging across the nation. Record opt-out drives, state legislation to reduce testing overuse and roll back misuses, and Congressional action overhauling "No Child Left Behind," are all in this week's spotlight.