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.
States, districts and schools sometimes claim they will lose federal Title I funds if parents, students or teachers boycott standardized tests required under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). However, in summer 2015 the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) acknowledged it has no plans to penalize districts or schools by withholding funds. That was DOE’s response after few districts in New York State reached NCLB’s 95% minimum participation requirement.