With the K-12 standardized exam season starting up across the nation, the grassroots assessment reform movement is ratcheting up outreach to both local education stakeholders and policy-makers at the state and federal levels. The result is an increase in public school students opting out of tests as well as more cutbacks in testing volume and consequences.
National Activists Urge Senate Not to Confirm Test-and-Punish Promoter as U.S. Ed. Secretary
"[The] refusal to participate in federally mandated testing programs likely represents a turning point in the history of assessment reform in the United States. The next few years will tell, as activists plan to dramatically increase refusals and to win policy changes in the states. Their avowed goals include less testing, an end to high-stakes uses of tests (that is, making decisions about students, educators, or schools solely or primarily on test scores), and implementation of other, educationally sound assessment practices.
The 2016 testing season is underway both in several state K-12 public school systems and for university admissions. Not surprisingly, this year's wave of standardized exams is generating even more intense push back from students, parents, educators and community activists fed up with test misuse and overuse. That grassroots pressure is forcing policy makers to respond, often by reducing the most egregious examples of testing overkill.
National As Protests Rise Over Testing, More Students Likely to Opt Out
This week's stories from 20 states, overseas, higher education and even the world of video games again demonstrate the rising tide of the assessment reform movement. You can learn more about how to replace high-stakes standardized exams with performance assessments by signing up for FairTest's Sunday evening March 6 webinar.
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:
With each passing week, momentum builds for campaigns to replace failed test-and-punish policies that continue to undermine public school educational quality and equity. Note the national breadth (and depth) of the movement for genuine assessment reform.
Mounting grassroots pressure is beginning to force state and local policy makers to take advantage of their new flexibility under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act to roll back standardized exam overuse use and misuse. FairTest's basic goals remain unchanged: many fewer tests; no high-stakes; support for better assessments.
Any notion that the new federal education law would slow the grassroots testing resistance and reform movement should be put to rest by even a quick skim of this week's headlines. From Alaska to Florida and Maine to California parents, educators and community activists are escalating pressure on state and local policy makers to reduce testing volume, eliminate high stakes and support better forms of assessment.
As the first of this issue's headlines makes clear, momentum is rapidly building across the U.S. for major assessment reform campaigns. The stories that follow -- from 15 states in a holiday-shortened week of news clips -- show the breadth and depth of grassroots activity.