k-12

President-Elect Barack Obama on No Child Left Behind

During the presidential campaign, FairTest paid close attention to the candidates whenever they addressed No Child Left Behind. It will be some time before President-Elect Barack Obama takes action that will flesh out the mostly vague statements he made while campaigning, and even longer before anything specific happens with the federal education law. In the meantime, here is a compilation of his comments on NCLB from his web site and the campaign trail.

Confronting the Myths of No Child Left Behind

Supporters of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law use many arguments to defend the controversial law. The strongest-sounding arguments have little to do with the law’s actual provisions, while others are simply false. We have prepared this fact sheet to help people reply to the various claims made in defense of NCLB; sort, pick and adapt the points you need. 


All children can learn to high levels.

The Proper Use of End-of-Course Exams in Determining High School Graduation

States and districts should not bar students from graduating based solely on standardized test scores. The Standards on Educational and Psychological Testing of the American Psychological Association, American Educational Research Association and National Council on Measurement in Education states that a major decision about a student should not be made "on the basis of a single test score." Dozens of educational and civil rights organizations join FairTest in endorsing this basic principle and opposing high-stakes graduation exams.

Forum on Educational Accountability Successful in its Efforts to Improve the Higher Education Act

Contact: Gary Ratner
Executive Director, Citizens for Effective Schools
301 469-8000                               

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Forum on Educational Accountability Successful in its Efforts to Improve the Higher Education Act, P.L. 110-315

FairTest's testimony on graduation tests to the Maryland Board of Ed.

FairTest's Monty Neill presented invited testimony on graduation tests and alternatives to the Maryland Board of Education. The letter also appears attached at the bottom as a formatted PDF:

 

October 21, 2008

James DeGraffenreidt, Chair
Members of the State Board of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Copies sent by regular mail and e-mail

Dear Chairman DeGraffenreidt and Members of the Maryland Board of Education,

FairTest Article on NCLB in AFSC journal Peacework

FairTest Article on NCLB in AFSC journal Peacework:

 The September issue of Peacework focues on education activism, providing a rich set of resources for parents, educators, students and other activists. FairTest's Monty Neill's lead article focuses on overhauling federal law (at http://www.peaceworkmagazine.org/beyond-no-child-left-behind). Issue contents are summarized below. You can read all the articles on the web at http://www.peaceworkmagazine.org/.

Exit Strategies: Confronting Faulty Grad Tests by Latricia Wilson.

See the story in the July 10 issue of The Nation: Exit Strategies: Confronting Faulty Grad Tests (Originally published by WireTap.) by Latricia Wilson.
(
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080721/latricia)

Latricia was profiled in an April 2008 FairTest Examiner story.

 

Video: "FairTest: You Can't Judge Learning with a Standardized Test"

Seattle Teacher Refuses to Administer WASL Test to Students

PRESS RELEASE—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SEATTLE TEACHER REFUSES TO ADMINISTER WASL TEST TO STUDENTS, CITING MULTIPLE HARMS TEST CAUSES STUDENTS, TEACHERS, SCHOOLS, AND PARENTS

Date: April 20, 2008

Contact: Juanita Doyon, Director, Parent Empowerment Network, Spanaway, 253/973-1593 Carl Chew, Seattle Teacher, 206-265-1119 email ctchew@earthlink.net

High Stakes Tests Do Not Improve Student Learning

High Stakes Tests Do Not Improve Student Learning

A FairTest Report by Monty Neill, Acting Executive Director
January 1998

A common assumption of standards and tests-based school reform is that high-stakes testing, such as having to pass an exam for high school graduation, will produce improved learning outcomes. This view is found in the grading formula used in Quality Counts (1998), the recent Education Week report in which states receive points for having high-stakes tests.

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