An explosive week for the testing resistance and reform movement. Nationally, pressure is mounting on President Obama, Secretary Duncan and members of Congress to cut back on federal mandates which help drive standardized exam insanity. At the same time, grassroots campaigns are forcing local officials to overhaul the testing policies they control -- today's summary includes stories from 19 states as well as several excellent commentaries.
Top national policy-makers finally took notice of the growing testing resistance and reform movement this week. The Council of Chief State School Officers (aka state superintendents) and the Council of the Great City Schools (urban supers) published a report admitting that standardized exam overkill was rampant across the country. In response, both U.S. Secretary of Arne Duncan and President Barack Obama issued statements of concern.
As the national testing resistance and reform movement rapidly accelerates, FairTest proposes a moratorium on all high-stakes exams to allow time to overhaul assessment at the federal, state and local levels. Check out the plan and incorporate it in your grassroots advocacy!
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.
In this week's stories, all key public education stakeholder constituencies -- parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, community activists, and the general public -- add their voices to the ever louder call for assessment reform. Too many politicians, however, give little but lip service to the movement's demands while continuing to double down on failed test-and-punish policies. The Atlanta and Philadelphia standardized exam cheating scandals are reminders of one kind of ugly fallout from this obsession