Testing Resistance & Reform News: March 10 - 16, 2021

From coast to coast angry parents, educators, community leaders and policy makers are pushing back at the Biden Administration's refusal to issue blanket waivers suspending spring 2021 federal testing mandates during a pandemic.  Leaders in several states are continuing to advocate for their original test cancellation proposals. Elsewhere education officials are responding by eliminating their own state and local testing requirements. Simultaneously, activists are planning for massive test opt-out campaigns.  Assessment reformers should keep pressing for:
-  Comprehensive waivers of the federal law requiring testing in grades 3 to 8 and once in high school
-  Elimination of all state high-stakes exam requirements, such as grade promotion and exit exams, as well as educator ratings
-  No punishment for children whose parents choose to opt-them out of standardized tests that are still being administered
Check out FairTest's opt-out guide and other resources at:
https://www.fairtest.org/get-involved/opting-out

National The Futility of Standardized Testing in a Crazy Pandemic Year
https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/03/16/futility-standardized-testing-crazy-pandemic-year/

National Growing Pressure for Sec. Cardona To Cancel Spring 2021 Testing
https://janresseger.wordpress.com/2021/03/12/29009/

California Teacher Union Publishes Test Opt-Out Guide
https://www.cta.org/our-advocacy/opt-out-of-standardized-testing

Colorado Testing Compromise Reduces Subject Coverage and Consequences
https://coloradosun.com/2021/03/15/colorado-cmas-coronavirus-house-bill-1161/
Colorado Teacher of the Year Calls for Putting Standardized Testing on Pause
https://coloradosun.com/2021/03/15/cmas-testing-delay-opinion/

District of Columbia Looking Back at 10 Years of Test-Driven School "Reform" Frauds
https://educationdc.net/2021/03/11/looking-back-on-dc-education-reform-10-years-later-part-1-the-grand-tour/

Florida Don't Punish Students and Schools Based on This Year's Standardized Exams
https://www.tampabay.com/news/education/2021/03/09/education-group-dont-punish-students-and-teachers-based-on-spring-exams/
Florida PTA Calls on Governor to Seek Federal Testing Flexibility
https://www.votervoice.net/FLPTA/campaigns/81Tea448/respond
Florida Parents Can Opt Children Out of Test-and-Punish System
https://theoptoutfloridanetwork.wordpress.com/2021/03/13/test-and-punish-system-parents-can-opt-children-out-of-statewide-testing/

Georgia State Super Blasts Feds for Refusing Comprehensive Testing Waivers
https://times-herald.com/news/2021/03/state-school-superintendent-gives-update-on-milestones-testing

Illinois Is Standardized Testing During a Pandemic a Helpful Measure of  Learning or a Complete Waste of Time?
https://www.peoriapublicradio.org/post/standardized-testing-during-covid-helpful-indicator-learning-or-complete-waste-time#stream/0

Indiana Legislature Seeks to End A-to-F School Grading Scheme
https://www.953mnc.com/2021/03/09/indiana-may-scrap-9-year-old-education-reform-measure/

Massachusetts School Supers Say Testing This Year Makes No Sense
http://www.massupt.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/MCAS-ACCESS-Waiver-02-25-2021.pdf

Michigan Education Leaders Slam Biden Administration Testing Mandate
https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/03/11/michigan-slams-biden-administration-decision-on-standardized-tests/

New Jersey State Ed Association Leaders Call for Approval of Federal Exam Waiver
https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/03/op-ed-leaders-njea-njasa-njpsa-write-us-education-secretary-miguel-cardona-want-federal-waiver-standardized-testing/amp/

New York State Cancels Most Spring 2021 Standardized Exams, Including Graduation Test, in Response to Federal Failure to Grant Waivers
https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2021/3/15/22332415/ny-cancels-regents-exams-2021
New York Suit Charges Test-Based "Screens" Create Segregated City School System
https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2021/3/9/22321193/nyc-students-file-lawsuit-taking-aim-at-admissions-screens-school-segregation

Ohio Student's Petition to Suspend State Exams Gets Hundreds of Signatures and Superintendent's Support
https://www.nbc4i.com/news/suspend-state-testing-this-year-students-petition-gets-nearly-500-signatures-and-superintendents-support/
Ohio Bipartisan Bill Would Overhaul A-to-F School Grading
https://patch.com/ohio/strongsville/strongsville-superintendent-fights-assessment-overhaul

Pennsylvania Why Standardized Testing Should Be Suspended This Year
https://triblive.com/opinion/lori-dira-standardized-testing-should-be-suspended-this-year/

Tennessee Third Grade Reading Law Aims to Fail Students
https://radicalscholarship.wordpress.com/2021/03/09/letter-to-the-editor-tennessee-poised-to-fail-students/

Texas State Tests Will Be Useless This Year
https://www.expressnews.com/opinion/editorial/article/Editorial-STAAR-exam-useless-at-this-point-16016193.php

International Ontario Canada Teachers Call for Canceling Standardized Tests, at Least During Pandemic
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/ontario-teachers-call-for-end-to-standardized-tests-at-least-during-pandemic-1.5947321

University Admissions Time for Colleges to Say "Be Gone" to the SAT and ACT
https://www.burlington-record.com/2021/03/12/sat-act-colorado-university-college-admissions/

Worth Reading Return to School Should Not Include Standardized Tests
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/america-s-covid-spring-shouldn-t-include-standardized-tests-any-ncna1260526
Worth Reading As We Reopen Schools Safely, We Must Close the Tests
https://schoolleadership20.com/profiles/blogs/as-we-safely-open-the-schools-we-must-close-the-tests

Bob Schaeffer, interim Executive Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office-  (239) 395-6773    mobile-  (239) 699-0468
web-  http://www.fairtest.org