A reporter, who called FairTest today for a comment on a breaking story, said it well, "Every time I read your news clip compilations, I'm shocked at how much testing reform activity is going on across the country." We hope these weekly summaries are just as helpful in making your work more productive. Please send us links to articles and resources from your local area that merit broader attention.
National How Testing Policies Have to Change in U.S. Public Schools
Happy New Year! Assessment reformers across the U.S. are gearing up for winning campaigns in 2017 around three central goals:
Fewer standardized exams, leaving additional time for teaching and learning No high-stakes (mis)uses of test results to make major decisions about students, educators, schools or districts More space to create performance-based assessments that tap a broader, deeper range of knowledge and skills
This is the final issue of "Testing Resistance & Reform News" for 2016. It's been a good year -- a record number of colleges eliminated ACT/SAT admissions exam requirement, driving the total to more than 900, the number of states requiring graduation tests plunged to a multi-decade low, and grassroots assessment reformers grew more powerful
You can help make 2017 even better. Your year-end, tax-deductible contribution will make it possible for FairTest to lead advocacy campaigns and publish important tools such as these weekly newsclips.
Thousands of readers like you -- grassroots activists, educators, journalists, and policy-makers -- rely on these weekly news clips to stay on top of assessment reform initiatives around the nation. Your year-end contribution makes it possible for FairTest to publish these updates as well as advocacy tools such as the new fact sheets linked in today's first item.
With the 2016-2017 school testing season right around the year-end, holiday vacation corner -- some states start administering their annual exams in February -- the pace of assessment reform news is accelerating. Parents, teachers, administrators and, increasingly, policy-makers now recognize that current school testing policies undermine educational quality and equity. Many are pushing for significant changes through local, state and national campaigns.
Assessment reform activists are taking advantage of opportunities under the new federal education law to push back against testing overkill with a range of proposals from auditing local standardized exam requirements to overhauling statewide school evaluation policies.
As fallout from November 8 continues to settle, activists across the nation are already pressing newly elected legislators to reduce testing volume, eliminate high-stakes standardized exams, and promote better forms of assessment.
The November 8 tidal wave swamped most other news, but a number of testing-related stories and commentaries still appeared over the past week. Perversely, the ugly election results may create new opportunities for assessment reform victories at the local, state, and even federal levels.