Testing Resistance & Reform News: August 23 - 29, 2017

You can tell that a new school year is beginning across the U.S. by the surge in testing-related coverage -- this week's clips include news from 20 states as well as national overviews. FairTest is especially pleased that so many stories and columns include strong criticisms of standardized exam misuse and overuse, reflecting a growing consensus for assessment reform that is also revealed in recent public opinion polls. 

National Many States Begin Shedding K-12 Exam Mandates
https://www.districtadministration.com/article/states-begin-shedding-standardized-tests-k12

National New Poll Finds Little Public Support for Standardized Testing
http://pdkpoll.org/results#measuring-school-quality

Alabama State Board Member Wants to Institutionalize Special Ed. Students to Boost Average Test Scores
http://www.rawstory.com/2017/08/alabama-state-school-board-member-wants-to-institutionalize-special-needs-students-to-boost-test-scores/

Arizona School Grades Delayed to Massage Ranking Formula
http://tucson.com/news/local/state-issued-letter-grades-for-arizona-schools-will-likely-be/article_1548cf97-1e35-58f3-b8d9-9656d6bea4a5.html

California State Board Dismisses Complaints From Test-and-Punish Advocates
https://edsource.org/2017/national-group-sharply-criticizes-states-plan-for-every-student-succeeds-act/586312

California Test Scores Delayed Indefinitely Due to "Data Issues"
http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-essential-education-updates-southern-california-s-standardized-test-score-1503703716-htmlstory.html

California Parents Prep Kids for Kindergarten Entrance Tests
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/toddler-test-prep-1032351

Colorado State Asks Feds for More Time to Integrate Opt-Out Policy Into ESSA Plan
https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/co/2017/08/25/colorado-tells-feds-it-needs-more-time-to-rethink-opt-out-policy/

Florida Governor Candidate Says Testing Cripples Education
http://www.newsherald.com/news/20170822/graham-education-her-primary-commitment

Idaho New Graduation Requirements Stir Debate Over Tests' Value
https://www.idahoednews.org/news/new-graduation-requirements-stir-debate-value-test-scores/

Indiana Superintendent of Education Says, "We Assess Kids to Death"
http://www.thebraziltimes.com/story/2438328.html

Maryland School Test Scores Can be Highly Misleading
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-rr-parcc-scores-20170825-story.html

Maryland The Limits of Standardized Testing
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-rr-parcc-20170824-story.html

Maryland State Board of Education Debates School Rating System
http://www.wbaltv.com/article/maryland-tweaks-star-rating-system-for-schools/12049164

Massachusetts Moving Beyond MCAS: Current School Quality Measures Are Incomplete, Inaccurate
https://commonwealthmagazine.org/education/moving-beyond-mcas/

Minnesota Aggregated Test Scores Mislead on School Performance
http://www.sctimes.com/story/opinion/2017/08/27/aggregated-test-scores-mislead-school-performance/593807001/

New Jersey Replacing High-Stakes Testing with Broader Education?
http://www.app.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/08/25/njea-marie-blistan-new-president/104942726/

New Mexico Do School Grades Show Real Academic Performance or "Noise"?
http://www.ladailypost.com/content/wadt-guide-school-grades-real-or-noise

New Mexico Time to Dump PARCC Tests?
http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-08-24/education/time-to-dump-new-mexico-student-parcc-tests/a59135-1

New York Teachers Call Test Scores "Virtually Meaningless"
http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-08-23/education/ny-teachers-call-latest-test-scores-meaningless/a59115-1

New York 225,000 Students Opted Out of State Tests in 2017
http://www.nysape.org/nysape-pr-2017-opt-out-results.html

North Carolina The Failure of Using Business-Model Practices Like VAM in Education
https://www.ednc.org/2017/08/09/cost-business-education-world/

Ohio Test Scores Don't Tell Us Anything We Did Not Already Know
http://www.dailycall.com/opinion/columns/27322/the-great-debate-rages-on

Pennsylvania Spending Too Much Time on Testing and Not Getting Enough Back
http://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/opinion/2017/08/24/editorial-costs-standardized-testing-continue-grow/593225001/

Tennessee Parents Should Opt Out of Standardized Testing Madness
http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/08/24/parents-should-opt-out-standardized-testing-madness/594774001/

Tennessee Weeks Into New School Year, Last Spring's Test Scores Still Not Available
http://wjhl.com/2017/08/25/weeks-into-new-school-year-and-some-tn-ready-official-test-scores-are-still-not-available/

Virginia Principal and Teachers Fired at School Where Staff Cheated on Exams
http://www.richmond.com/news/local/central-virginia/tri-cities/petersburg/teachers-fired-principal-out-at-petersburg-school-where-staff-helped/article_a2dd285c-5191-5e61-bdb3-0a11cf7ddd92.html

Washington ESSA Plan Moves Beyond No Child Left Behind
http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/before-and-after-washingtons-plan-for-the-every-student-succeeds-act/

West Virginia More Changes to Draft ESSA Plan
http://www.wvgazettemail.com/news-education/20170826/wvs-essa-plan-seeing-further-changes-praise-criticism

International Principals in India Say Students Gain Nothing From Competency Tests
http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/mumbai-principals-say-students-gain-nothing-from-competency-tests/story-d3L20MRhxEVy5C5oVEYWzK.html

University University Bloomfield College Now Has Test-Optional Admissions Policy
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/essex/bloomfield/2017/08/28/bloomfield-college-now-has-test-optional-policy/609846001/
 
University California State System Eliminates Placement-Test Based Remedial Courses
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/CSU-finally-ends-remedial-classes-that-delay-11946283.php

Worth Reading New Book "Beyond Test Scores: A Better Way to Measure School Quality"
http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674976399

Worth Reading Closing Schools with Low Scores Does Not Help Most Students
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/08/24/closing-failing-schools-doesnt-help-most-students.html

Worth Reading Questions Parents Should Ask Schools About Testing Their Children
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1844518558897873&set=a.137773602905719.26097.100000192405525&type=3&theater

Support Heroes in Education Be sure to order your tickets or make your contribution for FairTest's October 26 "Heroes in Education" award reception honoring Schott Foundation head John Jackson and Mass. Teachers Association President Barbara Madeloni.  Details at: http://www.fairtest.org/fairtest-to-honor-jackson-and-madeloni

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office-   (239) 395-6773   fax-  (239) 395-6779
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