fact sheets

Overhauling Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning: New Opportunities under the Every Student Succeeds Act

Overhauling Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning:

New Opportunities under the Every Student Succeeds Act

 

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) creates valuable opportunities to replace standardized tests with performance assessments. These can promote the engagement, creativity and critical thinking skills that have been stifled by teaching to standardized tests.

Fighting for Assessment Reform under ESSA

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the latest version of the long-standing Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It replaces the widely despised “No Child Left Behind.” The new law presents both opportunities and dangers for the testing resistance and reform movement.

Graduation Test Update: States That Recently Eliminated or Scaled Back High School Exit Exams

"Graduation Test Update: States That Recently Eliminated or Scaled Back High School Exit Exams" lists what is happening with state high school exit exams: the shrinking number of states with them, ones that recently ended them or established a moratorium, states that awarded retroactive diplomas when they ended grad tests, states that lessened the weight or number of the tests, and states that plan to introduce graduation tests in the future.

UPDATED OCTOBER 2016

Time to Abolish High School Graduation Tests

"Time to Abolish High School Graduation Tests" explains in two pages how and why mandated high school exit tests damage students and the quality of education. These tests deny diplomas to tens of thousands of students, disproportionately children of color, immigrants or youth with special needs; they do not improve college or career prospects but feed the school-to-prison pipeline; new Common Core tests are likely to increase the dropout rate; and more.

National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing

RESOLUTION ON HIGH-STAKES TESTING

The New Federal Education Law: A Basis for a Stronger Testing Resistance and Assessment Reform Movement

The New Federal Education Law:

A  Basis for a Stronger Testing Resistance and Assessment Reform Movement

FEA Recommendations for ESEA on Assessment, Accountability and School Improvement, Jan. 2015

Forum on Educational Accountability

Recommendations for Improving Federal Law - January 2015

What State Legislators Can Do to Advance Assessment Reform

Across the nation, resistance to test overuse and misuse reached unprecedented levels in spring 2015. The rapidly growing movement built on significant test opposition unleashed in 2013-14. The resistance to standardized exam overkill erupted in more states with far more participants, and it won notable victories.

The first wave of “wins” included:

Time for a Real Testing Moratorium

Time for a Real Testing Moratorium

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.

Teacher Evaluation Should Not Rest on Student Test Scores (Revised 2016)

The new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) does not require states to have educator evaluation systems. If a state chooses to do so, it does not have to include student test scores.  To win federal Race to the Top grants or waivers from No Child Left Behind (NCLB), most states adopted teacher and principal evaluation systems based heavily on student test scores. Many educators have resisted these unproven policies.

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