Testing Resistance & Reform News: March 24 - 30, 2021

The U.S. Department of Education's initial refusal to grant broad waivers of federal standardized exam mandates this year has set the stage for a high-stakes political fight. FairTest is leading the national push back against the Biden Administration's stubborn insistence on requiring mass, standardized testing in spring 2021, despite the lingering impacts of the pandemic on students, educators, schools and communities.  In addition to FairTest's work encouraging states to eliminate their own testing hurdles and develop better ways to assess children's real needs, our opt-out guide is drawing 13 times as many visitors as the same period last year!

Please help give us the financial muscle necessary to win meaningful victories  -- click here to make a tax-deductible donation free of all fundraising fees
Donate to FairTest

or mail your check to FairTest 196 Spring Street, Arlington, MA 02476

Thanks for your advocacy and support!

National Biden Administration Denies Waiver Requests From States Wanting to Cancel Standardized Exams This Spring

https://www.chalkbeat.org/2021/3/26/22353209/state-testing-cancellations-waivers-biden-departement-education
National Teachers Union Calls for Suspension of All High-Stakes Tests During Lingering Pandemic
https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea/cancel-standardized-tests-during-covid-19
National Survey on 2021 Opt-Out Movement Plans -- You Can Participate
https://tccolumbia.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6i2cmIQ2O3L9ggu
National Just Say "No" to Standardized Testing in Spring 2021 -- FairTest Guide to Why and How to Opt Out
https://www.fairtest.org/get-involved/opting-out

Colorado Feds Approve State's Waiver Request to Trim Spring 2021 Testing
https://co.chalkbeat.org/2021/3/26/22353167/federal-education-department-colorado-cmas-standardized-testing-waiver
Colorado Teachers Praise New Law Trimming Standardized Exam Requirements
https://www.chieftain.com/story/news/2021/03/25/pueblo-teachers-unions-weigh-colorado-bill-scale-back-cmas-testing/6983156002/

Florida State Seeks Public Comment on Federal Waiver Request; Plans to Require Remote Learners to Test at Schools
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article249982554.html

Illinois High School Seniors Won't Have to Take SAT to Graduate
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/high-school-seniors-in-chicago-and-across-illinois-wont-have-to-take-sat-to-graduate-this-spring-because-of-covid-19-disruptions/ar-BB1eVoVT
Illinois Letter: Spring Testing Will Waste Time, Not Help Our Schools Educate Better
Letters: The U.S. should waive spring assessments for students - Chicago Tribune

Massachusetts Cancel the Tests; Stop Abusing Our Children
https://thescallop.org/2021/03/opinion-cancel-the-mcas-in-massachusetts-we-refuse-to-abuse-our-students
Massachusetts Boston Superintendent Says Standardized Testing Is a Racist, Harmful, Failed Policy
https://schoolyardnews.com/cassellius-high-stakes-standardized-testing-is-a-racist-harmful-failed-policy-cfee23616e55

Michigan Feds Waive Test Score "Accountability" Requirements But Standardized Exams Still Required
https://www.michiganadvance.com/blog/feds-waive-school-accountability-requirements-for-mich-standardized-testing-still-required/

New York For Second Straight Year Students Will Not Be Required to Pass Regents Tests to Graduate
https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/education/2021/03/30/for-second-straight-year--students-will-be-exempt-from-regents-requirements
New York Local District Asks Parents to "Opt In" If They Really Want Students Tested This Spring
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/ossining-gives-parents-opt-in-choice-for-standardized-tests/ar-BB1eZxqG

North Dakota New Law Ends Requirement for High School Juniors to Take ACT Exam
https://www.willistonherald.com/news/regional/legislature-removes-act-requirement/article_e186ec96-9096-11eb-ab74-afdc403d01d2.html

Ohio New Law Waives Graduation Testing Requirement
https://www.wtrf.com/2020-2021-school-year/new-law-waives-standardized-testing-requirements-allow-ohio-students-to-use-course-grade-for-graduation/
Ohio Bill Would End ACT Test-Taking Mandate
https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/state/bill-would-make-act-voluntary-put-costs-on-school-districts

Oregon Why Testing Students This Year Fails
https://www.registerguard.com/story/opinion/columns/2021/03/28/guest-view-why-testing-students-year-fails-standardized-tests-oregon/6969718002/

South Carolina State Ed. Department Responds to Federal Waiver Denial by Encouraging Families to Opt Out of Spring Testing
https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/537707511/biden-administration-denies-south-carolina-assessment-waiver-request-grants-flexibility-for-parents-and-schools

Tennessee Parental Concerns Grow Over Risks of In-School Tests
https://www.wate.com/news/top-stories/test-anxiety-concern-grows-among-some-parents-as-tcap-approaches/

Washington State Seeks Federal Waiver to Test Only a Small Sample of Students This Year
https://www.chronline.com/stories/washington-state-seeks-federal-waiver-to-do-much-less-k-12-standardized-testing-this-spring,262011
Washington It's Time to Opt Out!
http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/2021/03/opt-out.html

International United Kingdom School Boards Say "No" to Spring 2021 Standardized Exams
https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/london-area-high-schoolers-wont-be-taking-standardized-tests-this-year

University Admissions Standardized Testing Is Elitist, Fails to Measure Student Potential
https://columbiachronicle.com/editors-note-standardized-testing-is-elitist-fails-to-measure-student-potential
University Admission Momentum to Eliminate Admissions Test Mandate for Public Campuses
https://www.michiganadvance.com/blog/feds-waive-school-accountability-requirements-for-mich-standardized-testing-still-required/

Worth Reading Alternatives to Standardized Tests in a Pandemic Year
https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/opinion-alternatives-to-standardized-tests-during-a-pandemic-year/2021/03
Worth Reading Basketball "March Madness"  vs School Testing "Spring Stupidity"
https://themerrowreport.com/2021/03/25/march-madness-and-spring-stupidity/
Worth Reading Sec. Cardona's Non-Defense Defense of Mandatory Exams
http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2021/03/cardonas-failed-non-defense-defense-of.html

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

--