Testing Resistance & Reform News: March 31 - April 6, 2021

Pressed by grassroots activists and educators, states are pushing back against the Biden Administration's stubborn refusal to allow schools to suspend standardized exams this spring.  Several have already won waivers allowing them to cut back time devoted to testing and eliminate consequences for test results.  Many have lifted their own high-stakes assessment requirements. More advocacy is needed to force policy makers to recognize the reality of an ongoing pandemic -- test results will be neither fair, valid nor educationally helpful. The looming threat of a broader, more diverse opt-out movement will also help keep their feet to the fire!

National Biden Administration Waiver Resistance Stimulates Testing Backlash
https://www.alternet.org/2021/04/biden-standardized-testing/

California Districts Will Be Able to Use Local Assessments Instead of Statewide Testing This Year
https://edsource.org/2021/california-school-districts-get-ok-to-choose-local-assessments-over-statewide-tests-this-spring/652435

Colorado Standardized Testing Misses the Mark
https://www.southeastexpress.org/opinion/opinion-standardized-testing-misses-the-mark/article_85c2917c-923e-11eb-b079-4343ead600c5.html

Florida State Requests Waiver of Some Federal Testing Requirements
https://www.wftv.com/news/local/orange-county/florida-requests-waiver-federal-government-student-state-testing-requirement/MAS2JBL3EVD4ZENNGGHHTSNSRE/
Florida Why We Opt Out
https://theoptoutfloridanetwork.wordpress.com/2021/04/03/no-more-minimal-participation-we-opt-out/

Georgia Superintendent Responds to Federal Assessment Waiver Denial: "Compassion, Not Compliance" for Test-Takers
https://allongeorgia.com/georgia-education-k12/ga-dept-of-ed-georgia-receives-federal-accountability-waiver/

Illinois Parents and Educators Sponsor Test Opt-Out Event
https://www.ilfps.org/refuse_the_tests_2021

Iowa Parents of Virtual School Students Seek to Opt Out of In-Person Standardized Tests
https://www.weareiowa.com/article/news/education/virtual-students-covid-state-elementary-assessment-test-health-risk-in-person-iowa-statewide-assessment-of-student-progress/524-04512f41-1339-492c-892f-b0622e747613

Massachusetts State Waives Graduation Exam Requirement for High School Class of 2022
https://mailchi.mp/doe.mass.edu/press-release-dese-makes-changes-to-mcas-schedule-graduation-requirements-for-11th-graders
Massachusetts Superintendents and School Committees Call for Broad Federal Testing Waiver
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VoOSpkKoAiUugOEBQVekobICFvv2J3oO/view

Michigan Teachers on Board With Plan to Waive State Standardized Test
https://www.abc12.com/2021/04/01/mea-on-board-to-waive-2021-m-step-standardized-test/
Michigan Parents Back State's Waiver Request
https://www.wilx.com/2021/04/05/michigan-department-of-lansing-native-requesting-standardized-test-waiver/

Minnesota To Assess Students' Learning Progress, Start By Asking Them
https://www.minnpost.com/community-voices/2021/03/want-to-know-how-minnesotas-students-are-doing-ask-them/

Nevada Governor Signs Bill Suspending State's School Accountability Requirements
https://www.thecentersquare.com/nevada/sisolak-signs-bill-waiving-accountability-requirements-for-schools/article_5f416c34-919a-11eb-890e-b350a020bead.html

North Carolina Upcoming "Refusing to Be Standardized" Opt Out Event
https://www.facebook.com/events/485068562687878/

Oregon State Submits Revised Waiver Proposal After Feds Reject Initial Request to Suspend Exams
https://www.opb.org/article/2021/04/05/oregon-department-of-education-standardized-tests-waiver/
Oregon Local Board Recommends Parents Opt Children Out of Standardized Testing
https://thesiuslawnews.com/article/mapleton-schools-tackle-standardized-testing
Oregon Official 2020-2021 Test Opt-Out Form
https://www.oregon.gov/ode/educator-resources/assessment/Documents/Opt-Out_Form_Revised03_10_21_fillable.pdf

Rhode Island Standardized Testing Should Not Be Happening This Year
https://www.abc6.com/providence-teacher-standardized-testing-shouldnt-be-happening-this-year/

Tennessee Momma Bears "Choose to Refuse Testing" Opt-Out Guide
http://www.mommabears.org/choose-to-refuse-testing-opt-out.html

Texas Many Students May Skip Standardized Exams This Year But Grad Test Requirement Remains in Place
https://kvia.com/news/education/2021/04/02/many-texas-students-can-skip-staar-tests-this-year/
Texas Lawmakers Try to Waive End-of-Course Test Requirements for High School Seniors
https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/texas-lawmakers-want-to-remove-end-of-course-staar-assessments-for-graduating-seniors/

Vermont State Seeks Federal Waiver So Test Results Won't Matter Much
https://vtdigger.org/2021/04/01/standardized-testing-will-happen-this-year-it-just-wont-count-for-much/

Worth Reading April 1 News -- Parents Thrilled With Return of Standardized Exams; Create Testing Pods
https://dianeravitch.net/2021/04/01/kevin-welner-parents-thrilled-with-return-of-testing/

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