Testing Resistance & Reform News: April 26 - May 2, 2017

From state after state, there are encouraging reports of progress toward curbing standardized exam overkill and creating opportunities for alternative assessments and accountability systems. As always, grassroots activism -- via opt-out campaigns, lobbying, public education, etc. -- is the key to pressuring policy makers to adopt genuine reforms. 

Arizona New School Rating System Relies Less on Testing
http://tucson.com/news/local/education/new-arizona-school-rating-system-relies-less-on-testing-emphasizes/article_49631721-7643-50c0-83f5-3a6df2a25393.html

Connecticut Standardized Test Data Still Too "Squishy" for Teacher Evaluations
http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/op-ed_standardized_test_data_still_too_squishy_for_teacher_evaluations/

Florida Assessment Reformers Hopeful That Legislative Package Brings Meaningful Testing Changes
http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2017-04-27/fewer-better-tests-bills-form-education-trains-push-different-agendas

Florida Teacher Bonuses Based on Old ACT/SAT Scores Is a Silly Policy
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/commentary/fl-viewpoint-florida-teachers-best-and-brightest-20170426-story.html

Georgia Are State Tests Inappropriate for Young Children
http://getschooled.blog.myajc.com/2017/04/23/georgia-milestones-are-state-tests-inappropriate-for-young-students/

Illinois Lawmakers Look to Ease Teacher Licensure Testing Requirements
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacherbeat/2017/04/illinois_lawmakers_look_to_overhaul_teacher_licensure_testing_requirements.html

Maryland Cap Placed on Standardized Testing
http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/maryland/cap-placed-on-standardized-testing-in-maryland/435916902

Massachusetts School Committee Debates Opt-Out Policy
http://somerville.wickedlocal.com/news/20170425/somerville-school-committee-discuss-necessity-for-students-opting-out-of-mcas

Mississippi Will Testing Technology Be Able to Handle the Load?
https://djournal.com/news/districts-balance-funding-tech-testing/

New Jersey Student Says PARCC Testing Takes Joy Out of Learning
http://www.app.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/04/27/parcc-testing-jessica-langer/100987138/

New York Opting Out a Way for Parents to Make a Statement
http://www.fltimes.com/opinion/opting-out-a-way-for-parents-to-make-a-statement/article_9f6cb846-2d2f-11e7-9923-d72464a4220d.html

New York Assessing Student Progress Without Standardized Tests
https://mets2006.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/how-would-we-assess-student-progress-without-standardized-tests/

New York Explosive Growth for Test-Grading Business
http://www.newsday.com/business/test-grading-business-helps-lynbrook-firm-double-revenues-in-5-years-1.13534415

Ohio Local Officials Say Students Take Too Many Standardized Exams
http://www.toledoblade.com/Education/2017/04/30/Students-tested-too-much-local-officials-say.html

Ohio Standardized Testing Takes Up Too Much Classroom Time
http://www.dispatch.com/opinion/20170428/letter-standardized-tests-too-time-consuming

Oregon Opt-Out Movement Forces Evaluation of State Tests
http://klcc.org/post/evaluating-state-state-tests

Oregon Smarter Balanced High School Tests Eliminated
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/high_school_and_beyond/2017/05/oregon_to_drop_smarter_balanced_in_high_school.html

Pennsylvania We May Finally Be Ending The Testing Obsession
http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2017/04/put_down_your_pencils_-_its_ti.html

Pennsylvania Standardized Exam Reform Legislation Gets Broad Support
http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-04-27/education/bills-to-reform-standardized-testing-get-broad-support/a57456-2

Pennsylvania Student Says: Stop the Incessant Testing and Focus on Education
http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/opinion/guest/stop-the-testing-and-focus-on-education/article_4e38cdc4-d033-59a5-a8cc-64b3012e96e3.html

South Carolina Professor Says Students Are Over-Tested, Over-Stressed
http://wbtw.com/2017/05/02/professor-says-schools-overtesting-south-carolina-students/

Tennessee Matt Damon Narrates New Documentary About State Testing Problems
http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/tn/2017/04/27/matt-damons-latest-role-the-voice-of-an-education-documentary-featuring-tennessee-testing/

Texas Standardized Exam Season Begins As "Teaching Over Testing Act" Moves Through Legislature
http://kxan.com/2017/05/01/as-bill-to-reduce-standardized-tests-is-debated-staar-testing-begins/
 
Texas Legislators Move to Knock Out Whatever Teeth STAAR Tests Have Left
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2017/04/25/will-texas-continue-scaling-back-dependence-staar-tests

Virginia The Promise of ESSA to Reduce Test Stress
http://neatoday.org/2017/04/26/the-promise-of-essa-in-reducing-test-stress/

Washington Grad Testing Requirements Considered in Special Legislative Session
http://www.king5.com/news/education/hundreds-wont-graduate-without-special-session-action/434389674

International British Members of Parliament Say Tests Are Too Stressful for Many Pupils
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4461400/SATs-stressful-pupils-say-MPs.html

University Admissions How a Little Known Standardized Test Harms Community College Students
http://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/04/17/how-a-little-known-standardized-test-harms-community-college-students/

Worth Reading Is There Really a Link Between Test Scores and America's Economic Future?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/04/27/is-there-really-a-link-between-test-scores-and-americas-economic-future/

Worth Reading Computerized Test Design Can Hurt Young Children's Scores
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2017/04/computer_based_tests_young_students_research.html

Worth Reading Every Child Can Learn -- Just Not in the Same Way
http://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article147016649.html