Testing overuse and misuse is damaging public education. It eats up classroom time, narrows curriculum and drives many students out of school. It perpetuates a false narrative of failure and puts schools in low-income communities at risk of closure or privatization.
States That Recently Eliminated or Scaled Back High School Exit Exams
The number of states requiring high school graduation exams in language arts and math has significantly shrunk over the past few years. Thirteen states have graduation tests in place for the high school class of 2017, down from a high of 27 that had or planned such tests. The current number is the lowest level since at least the mid-1990s.
"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.
With public schools closing for the summer, many states are reviewing their 2015-2016 testing experience (once again, not a pretty picture) and planning to implement assessment reforms in coming years. You can help stop the U.S. Department of Education from promoting testing misuse and overuse by weighing in on proposed Every Student Succeeds Act regulations.
Many states are beginning to review their assessment and accountability systems to comply with the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Input from grassroots stakeholders -- particularly parents, educators and community leaders -- can help determine whether the revised policies help improve learning and teaching or simply put a different gloss on failed test-and-punish systems.
Lots of stories this week demonstrating the impact of opting out and other effective protests against standardized exam overkill. Please continue to support the testing resistance and reform movement through your own grassroots work and by making a contribution to FairTest at: