FairTest's Letter on High Stakes Testing to the Equity Commission

March 27, 2012

The Equity and Excellence Commission:

Dear Members of the Commission: The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) is concerned about the damage done to educational equity and excellence by the use of high-stakes testing. Among the widely documented problems are:

FairTest to Honor Diane Ravitch with the Deborah W. Meier Hero in Education Award

Date and Time: Tuesday, 5 June, 6:00-830 p.m.

Place: Julia Richman Educational Complex, 317 East 67th St., New York City

NCLB’s Lost Decade Report


NCLB’s Lost Decade for Educational Progress:
What Can We Learn from this Policy Failure?

By Lisa Guisbond with Monty Neill and Bob Schaeffer
January 2012

The federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law failed badly in terms of its own goals, leading to a decade of educational stagnation, according to FairTest’s report marking NCLB’s tenth anniversary.

Among the report’s major findings:

A slide show of basic facts about Duncan's AYP waiver plan and the Senate HELP bill reauthorizing ESEA

IS AYP Dead? A Webinar.
The National Education Association and the Forum on Educational Accountability produced a webinar on November 29, 2011 for NEA members about waivers and the Senate HELP Committee reauthorization of ESEA. The webinar presented descriptive, factual information to the participants; it contains little analysis or comment. This version has a few additional or modified slides created by FairTest after the webinar was broadcast.

Summary and Critique of Key Provisions in Harkin-Enzi ESEA/NCLB Reauthorization Bill of October 2011

Summary and Critique of Key Provisions in Harkin-Enzi ESEA/NCLB
Reauthorization Bill of October 2011

FairTest review, analysis – summary and critique notes, October 16, 2011

What to say when you call your senator about NCLB

When you call your Senator to ask him to help overhaul NCLB, here are five suggested talking points, which you can deliver in 2-3 minutes:

FairTest Key Recommendations to the Senate, October 16, 2011

FairTest key recommendations to the Senate, October 16, 2011:

Here are FairTest’s key points that should be part of a Senate bill. We rely in part on the recommendations of the Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA). We specifically respond to some of the points in the Harkin-Enzi bill to reauthorize NCLB/ESEA.

Contacting your Senators to recommend changes to NCLB

Contacting your Senators to recommend changes to NCLB:

You can reach your members of Congress or the Committees by fax, phone, email or regular mail.

A fax is the best way to contact Senators, if you can, since it arrives immediately and you can provide a bit of detail (but keep it to a page, two at most). You can fax the Democrat majority of the HELP committee directly at 202-224-5128, and you can fax the Republicans at 202-224-6510.

Models for Writing About Personal Experience with NCLB

Models for writing about personal experience with NCLB’s damaging effects:

Parents about children:

Opting Out

Just Say No to the Test

“Opting out” of testing is a potentially powerful way to resist No Child Left Behind and the way standardized testing distorts and corrupts K-12 classrooms. Growing numbers of parents and students are questioning the value of NCLB testing and saying they want to exercise the right to opt out.

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