Join the Assessment Reform E-Mail Discussion

K-12 Testing

Join others "on line" in discussions about how to reform assessment policies and practices.


As part of its Assessment Reform Network, FairTest has created a free electronic discussion group, a "listserv," for people interested in talking about how to implement aessment reform. We encourage parents, community and civil rights activists, educators, and other interested people to join this discussion list.


A number of advocacy organizations have begun to use listserv technology as a fast, easy and convenient way of sharing information and ideas with other advocates and helping each other organize.


A listserv is an e-mail (electronic mail), online discussion group. When you "subscribe" to the list, you will receive e-mail sent by other people on the list. You can read the information, questions and ideas of others who have subscribed. You also can send e-mail to all other people on the list.



The purpose of this electronic conversation is to share ideas and experiences about implementing assessment reform in order to promote practices consistent with the Principles and Indicators for Student Assessment Systems of the National Forum on Assessment.


We encourage participants to ask questions, to seek help, to post alerts, to submit sum maries of their experiences, and to comment on other submissions.


With this list, we hope to build and support an active national network of reformers at school, district and state levels who learn from and help one another; a "casebook" of successful assessment reform efforts; and a deepened understanding of what is required to engage in successful reform.


Uses of the Listserv

There are many ways the listserv can be used. For example:

  • Community activists and educators seeking a change in testing policy in their district can discuss with people in other communities how best to succeed.
  • Parents organizing a boycott of tests can talk with parents in other districts about their experiences in similar efforts.
  • Parents and advocates worried that their children are misidentified as learning disabled, when the real issue is that their children are not yet proficient in English, can find allies to help them promote reforms.
  • Community groups seeking to ensure that new performance assessments are fair for their children can communicate with other groups or educators who are developing or using new methods which address this issue.
  • Parent and community groups interested in alternative methods of accountability can discuss these options with parents and educators in other cities or states. 
  • Educators and community groups worried that teaching to the current tests undermines high-quality curriculum and instruction can access information about ways to prepare students for the tests which do not compromise intellectually stimulating schooling.

There will be less of a focus on the assessments themselves such as how to do good portfolios or performance events (though references to such materials are welcome), and more on the how, why, and what of implementing change in assessment practice.


Leaflets, position papers, summaries of reform campaigns and other valuable material also can be added to FairTest's Web site where they will be available to other people. Also, all mail will be stored in an electronic archive, so you can go back and read older messages.


How to Sign Up

Signing up for the list is easy. To participate, you need to be able to send and receive e-mail. To subscribe, send an e-mail message to: YourName.


In the message box, write this one-line message: SUB ARN-L yourfirstname yourlastname.


The listserv will ignore the subject line of your e-mail. You are then added to the list and can send and receive messages from the list. Once you have joined, you will receive a confirmation notice containing instructions on how to post messages, how to unsubscribe, and the mission statement for the list.