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.
Great to meet so many of you at the Education Writers Association and Network for Public Education conferences in Chicago last week and to hear how useful these news-and-tools updates are for your work! It was rewarding to learn how many readers forward the clips to local list serves, post them on Facebook (they also go up on our page https://www.facebook.com/FairTest), and Tweet them to other activists.
This week's update is being sent from the Education Writers Association National Seminar where hundreds of reporters, editors and columnists are talking about the opt-out movement and other forms of testing resistance as well as proposals for real assessment reform at the local, state and national levels.
Today is huge for assessment reform with the U.S. Senate education committee starting markup of legislation to overhaul "No Child Left Behind," tens of thousands of students planning to opt-out of the first day of standardized exams in New York State, and sentencing scheduled in the Atlanta cheating case that has focused attention on damage from the fixation on test scores.
Here's a sampling of just one week's news from across the nation. Please continue sending us your clips and let us know if FairTest can help your local campaigns in any way