Testing Resistance & Reform News: April 12 - 18, 2017

As peak school testing season nears in many states, grassroots activists are winning more and more victories against standardized exam overuse and misuse.  Parents, educators, community leaders and their allies need to keep pressure on policy makers to curb testing overkill and create more space for performance assessments. 

Arkansas Rethinking School Grades


http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2017/apr/16/new-laws-focus-on-english-learners-scho/

California High Schools Turning to Portfolios to Assess Academic Performance
https://edsource.org/2017/high-schools-turning-to-student-portfolios-to-assess-academic-progress/580147

Florida Who Is Responsible for Over-Testing? State or Districts
http://www.naplesnews.com/story/opinion/editorials/2017/04/13/editorial-dont-select-wrong-answer-tests-question/100413068/

Indiana Legislature Urged to Decouple Teacher Evaluation From Student Tests
http://www.heraldbulletin.com/news/statehouse-committee-asked-to-decouple-student-testing-and-teacher-evaluation/article_d81247cc-1fad-11e7-8d43-dbe4924e7014.html

Maryland Big Assessment Reform Victories as Legislature Adjourns
https://mseanewsfeed.com/public-education-is-a-big-winner-as-the-general-assembly-adjourns-sine-die-93b79de501f2

Massachusetts School Committee Supports Opt-Out Parents, Seeks Alternatives to Tests
http://www.cambridgeday.com/2017/04/10/discomfort-over-mcas-and-resistance-remains-as-officials-ponder-alternatives/

Massachusetts More Parents Opt Children Out of High-Stakes Tests
http://somerville.wickedlocal.com/news/20170413/somerville-parents-opt-children-out-of-high-stakes-mcas-testing

Michigan Politicians Should Listen to Opt-Out Parents
http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/columnists/nancy-kaffer/2017/04/13/opt-out-tests-detroit/100333018/

Mississippi Is Repeating Third Grade -- Again and Again -- Good for Kids?
http://hechingerreport.org/repeating-third-grade-good-kids/

Mississippi Joy of Learning is Victim of Test-Score Mania
http://www.cdispatch.com/opinions/article.asp?aid=57577

Nebraska Third Grade Test-Based Retention Bill is "Nuts"
http://www.theindependent.com/opinion/another_opinion/bill-would-force-schools-to-flunk-third-graders/article_a2602e56-215f-11e7-9b94-a3c1d1636621.html

New Hampshire Early Research Shows Positive Results for Performance Assessment 
http://www.concordmonitor.com/is-PACE-working-initial-results-are-out-9235476

New York Governor Backs Away From Tough Talk on Test-Driven School "Reform"
http://buffalonews.com/2017/04/11/cuomo-cools-off-tough-talk-school-reforms/

New York State Scraps Plan to Raise Test Passing Scores
http://www.wgrz.com/news/ny-scraps-higher-test-scores/430991756

New York Teacher Refusing Tests Will Force Reforms
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/opinion/refusing-tests-will-compel-needed-changes-20170417

North Dakota Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Parents to Opt Children Out of Tests
http://www.kfyrtv.com/content/news/Passed-bill-allows-parents-to-opt-students-out-of-testing-419507793.html

Ohio State Moves Toward Graduation Testing Moratorium
http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/developing-today-ohio-students-may-not-have-pass-tests-for-graduation/oyQawJlwUP99KKhbNe4nHJ/

Ohio Bill Would Kill Common Core and Statewide Tests
http://www.wkyc.com/news/education/bill-would-kill-common-core-state-tests/431284141

Pennsylvania Rethinking Standardized Tests
http://www.publicopiniononline.com/story/opinion/2017/04/12/rethinking-standardized-tests-school/100365182/

Pennsylvania Testing Makes Schools Focus on the "Urgent" Rather Than the "Important"
http://www.berksmontnews.com/general-news/20170413/pssa-q-amp-a-with-hamburg-superintendent-dr-richard-j-mextorf

Rhode Island State Drops PARCC, Adopts Massachusetts Test
http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20170413/ri-adopting-mass-test-to-measure-student-performance-ditching-parcc

South Carolina Value-Added Measurement Teacher Ratings Will Not Work
http://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/commentary/ccsd-plan-for-teachers-won-t-work/article_b63dfaea-1e0b-11e7-99da-572fc6387d7f.html

Texas Senate Panel Weighs Extending Alternatives to Graduation Exam
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2017/04/12/failed-thestaar-test-texas-may-allow-permanent-panels-giving-seniors-second-shot-graduation

Texas Bill Would Require Transparency About Testing-Related Costs
http://www.mystatesman.com/news/opinion/commentary-1336-plan-for-staar-testing-that-deserves-support/dGpEls9qYXc2Q4CYgebm0L/

International Puerto Rico Federation of Teachers Says Pearson Tests Are Fraudulent
https://www.periodicolaperla.com/federacion-maestros-tilda-fraudulentas-las-pruebas-meta-pr/

University Admissions ACT/SAT Optional List Tops 950 Despite Test-Makers' Attacks
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/04/12/the-list-of-test-optional-colleges-and-universities-keeps-growing-despite-college-boards-latest-jab/

University Admissions Comprehensive Database of Test-Optional and Test-Flexible Schools
http://fairtest.org/university/optional

International United Kingdom Educators Overwhelmingly Vote to Explore Primary School Test Boycott
https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/atl-votes-overwhelmingly-explore-sats-boycott

Worth Reading Let's Prepare Students for the Real World, Not Test-Taking
https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-04-16-let-s-prepare-students-for-the-world-not-tests