Testing Resistance & Reform News: March 3 - 9, 2021

The backlash to the Biden Administration's refusal to grant states "blanket" waivers from spring 2021 federal testing requirements is sharp and growing rapidly.  Here's FairTest's agenda:

    -  Push the U.S. Department of Education and Congress to reverse plans to deny comprehensive testing waivers
    -  Pressure states to request maximum possible student assessment flexibility for the current school year by "pushing the envelope" of the waivers USDOE already has said will be granted;
    -  Simultaneously, push states and districts to suspend their own testing mandates for the 2020-2021 school year and lift all high-stakes consequences for students, teachers and schools
    -  Pursue these policies in the context of promoting well-rounded, authentic assessment systems developed in partnership with educators
    -  If Spring 2021 testing policies are not overhauled consistent with these goals, aggressively promote broad, diverse standardized exam opt-out campaigns 
As this week's clips demonstrate, lots of assessment reform action is already underway:

National Biden Administration Push to Resume Standardized Exams Irks Education Advocates
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/02/biden-standardized-tests-teachers-unions-472831

National How Two Years of Testing Disruptions Could Shake Up the Testing Debate    
https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/how-two-years-of-pandemic-disruption-could-shake-up-the-debate-over-standardized-testing/2021/03

National Assessment Reformers Push Back Against Federal Testing Mandate
https://www.chalkbeat.org/2021/3/3/22311564/standardized-testing-schools-states-covid-pushback-backlash-critics

Alabama Bipartisan Group of Legislators Files Bill to Suspend Test-Based School Grades
https://www.al.com/news/2021/03/standardized-testing-is-starting-what-happens-if-results-are-poor.html

Colorado Teachers Decry Federal Requirement to Administer Tests This Spring
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-disappointment-fort-collins-school-leaders-decry-biden-s-call-for-standardized-testing/ar-BB1eada9?ocid=hplocalnews

Colorado Legislature Advances Bill to Reduce Testing to One Subject Per Year
https://denver.cbslocal.com/2021/03/05/colorado-bill-passes-committee-reduce-standardized-test-load/

Colorado Parents Should Opt Children Out to Cutback Testing Permanently
https://www.chieftain.com/story/opinion/columns/guest/2021/03/05/op-ed-cmas-and-standardized-test-should-cut-good/4595795001/

Florida Legislative Support for Proposal to Waive High-Stakes Testing Consequences
https://www.tampabay.com/news/education/2021/03/02/senate-panel-favors-proposal-to-change-how-florida-uses-school-tests/

Georgia Why Are Students Returning to Take Standardized Tests?
https://www.11alive.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/standardized-tests-returning-to-the-classroom/85-882a0202-b007-4275-a142-5f9e7549f465

Georgia Thousands of Kids Will Opt Out of State Tests without Penalty
https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/atlanta/thousands-georgia-students-opting-out-state-exams-will-they-pay-it-later/ACLEUCTJZRBYTGY57NUEMLI4R4/

Illinois Superintendents Oppose Requiring Standardized Exams During Pandemic
https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-standardized-tests-school-assessments-covid-19-20210305-pzahazqumnebfovkzy5ynzozje-story.html

Maryland State Board of Ed Votes to Delay Testing Until Fall
https://www.baltimoresun.com/education/bs-md-maryland-delays-testing-20210304-hcrikrwqfjegdjann6oflutvcu-story.html

Massachusetts State Delays Test Administration Schedule, Teachers Say Cancel Them
https://www.wwlp.com/news/massachusetts/mcas-testing-will-be-delayed-this-spring/

Massachusetts Cancel Standardized Exams This Spring: We Have More Pressing Priorities
https://commonwealthmagazine.org/opinion/cancel-standardized-tests-this-spring/

Michigan Standardized Testing Is Substandard
https://www.mininggazette.com/news/2021/03/testing-failures-standardized-testing-is-proving-to-be-substandard/

Michigan View Standardized Exam Results With Caution
https://www.thealpenanews.com/opinion/editorials-and-columns/2021/03/parents-view-standardized-tests-with-caution/

New Jersey Planning for a Refined Federal Test-Waiver Request
https://pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/education/no-answer-yet-on-state-testing-in-new-jersey-this-spring/article_abf83b55-cbba-52b0-9bee-a46a40e10e69.html

New York State Plans to Seek Federal Test Waivers, Cancel More Than Half of Own High-Stakes Testing Requirements
https://www.lohud.com/story/news/education/2021/03/03/ny-propose-giving-four-regents-exams-june-canceling-remaining-six/6909300002/

New York How Is Requiring More Tests "Building Back Better"?
http://www.bencenblog.com/2021/03/02/building-back-better/

North Carolina State Board of Ed Wants to Suspend School Grading This Year
https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/education/article249701228.html

Ohio House Approves Bill Suspending Testing Sanctions and Penalties
https://news.yahoo.com/ohio-house-votes-ease-weight-120200577.html

Pennsylvania Parents Should Demand Standardized Exam Suspension
https://www.dailyitem.com/opinion/suspend-standardized-tests/article_6ac1b939-8671-5a15-9641-46b020b0ec65.html

Washington Governor Signs Law Allowing Waivers of Graduation Testing Requirements
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/inslee-signs-bill-allowing-covid-19-related-waivers-of-some-graduation-requirements/

University Admission Standardized Tests Were Never a Good Standard
https://tuftsdaily.com/features/2021/03/05/standardized-tests-were-never-a-standard-impact-of-tufts-admissions-going-test-optional/

University Test-Optional Is a Growing Trend
https://news.jrn.msu.edu/2021/03/college-admissions-without-act-sat-scores-could-be-future-trend/

Worth Reading Standardized Testing During a Pandemic is Stupid.  And Cruel!
https://gadflyonthewallblog.com/2021/03/05/standardized-testing-during-a-pandemic-is-stupid-and-cruel/

Worth Reading Cancelling Exams Could Cause a Recession!
https://themerrowreport.com/

Worth Reading Resuming Standardized Testing May Cause More Problems Than It Solves
https://www.dailypress.net/life/features/2021/03/going-forth-with-standardized-tests-may-cause-more-problems-than-it-solves/

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