Resistance to the overuse and misuse of standardized tests is expanding rapidly across the nation (Guisbond, 2014). The movement’s goals are to roll back testing overkill, eliminate damaging high stakes, and create an assessment system that supports teaching and learning while providing useful information to parents, communities and states. Some states have responded to the uprising by temporarily pausing some sanctions for teachers and schools.
To win federal Race to the Top grants or waivers from No Child Left Behind (NCLB), most states adopted teacher and principal evaluation systems based heavily on student test scores. Many educators have resisted these unproven policies. Researchers from Massachusetts and Chicago-area universities and more than 1,550 New York State principals signed statements against such practices. Chicago teachers struck over this issue, among others.
Schools and districts that receive federal Title I funds sometimes claim they will lose funds if parents, students or teachers boycott standardized tests required under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). As far as we know, no school or district anywhere in the country has ever been penalized for failing to test enough (95%) of its students. Parents, students and teachers generally should not fear harmful consequences to their schools due to federal law if parents boycott standardized tests. Here is why:
Another week of accelerating protests against high-stakes testing. If you find these news summaries useful for your assessment reform work, please contribute to help FairTest http://tinyurl.com/supportfairtest as suggested by Michelle Fine in her acceptance speech at last week's "Heroes in Education" awards presentation
The 2014 round of standardized exam administration got underway in several states this week. As predicted by FairTest and our Testing Resistance & Reform Spring (TRRS) allies, opt-out campaigns and other forms of protest exploded in many communities. In just the past three days, we've seen so many great news clips that we could not wait until our normal Tuesday distribution date to circulate them nationally.
Anyone who still believes that the resistance to testing misuse and overuse is confined to a few big cities and "liberal" activists, should click through this week's news clips. In fact, testing protests are spreading across "deep red" states" such as Alaska, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. And "conservative" commentators are speaking out against standardized exam overkill.