Testing Resistance & Reform News: December 16 - 22, 2015

President Obama's signature on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was barely dry when grassroots activists began pressuring states to take advantage of their new power to reduce testing overkill. Already New York and Oklahoma have responded by walking back reliance on standardized exam scores to evaluate teachers. To help ensure the national assessment reform movement has the tools to win many more victories in 2016, please consider making a year-end gift to FairTest

Not only will your year-end contribution be fully TAX DEDUCTIBLE, but it will be DOUBLED through a matching grant from FairTest Board member Deborah Meier.  Thank you!

National States Eager for Flexibility in New Federal Law
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015-12-18/states-eager-for-flexibility-in-new-education-law
National Leaving Behind "No Child" Heartens Many Educators
http://news.yahoo.com/leaving-no-child-behind-law-heartens-educators-144929707.html
National ESSA Opens the Door for 21st Century Learning, If We Use It Well
http://cce.org/files/ESSA-Opens-the-Door-for-21st-Century-Learning.pdf
National How to Use ESSA to Build a Stronger, More Effective Assessment Reform Movement
http://fairtest.org/building-stronger-more-effective-assessment-reform

California Many Flaws in Tests of Students With Disabilities
http://www.latimes.com/local/education/standardized-testing/la-me-edu-these-are-the-problems-some-california-teachers-had-when-they-tested-students-with-disabilities-20151217-story.html

District of Columbia The Damage From Nearly a Decade of Test-and-Punish Policies
http://themerrowreport.com/2015/12/16/kaya-hendersons-track-record-redux/

Florida Suspension of Test-Based Promotion Results in Many Fewer Students Held Back
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/fewer-pasco-third-graders-retained-under-stopgap-accountability-law-change/2257826
Florida Teachers Association Files EEOC Complaint Against Test Bonuses Claiming Race, Age Discrimination
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/fea-claims-race-age-discrimination-in-best-and-brightest-bonus/2258592
Florida Test Scores Are Bad Measure for Teacher Bonuses
http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-test-scores-bad-measure-for-teacher-bonuses/2258386

Georgia State Investigates Possible Errors in School Test Grading
http://www.myajc.com/news/news/local-education/state-investigates-possible-errors-in-school-test-/npk7y/
Georgia High School Holds Belated Graduation Ceremony for Students Previously Denied Diplomas by Exit Exam
http://valdostatoday.com/2015/12/valdosta-high-school-holds-house-bill-91-graduation-ceremony/
Georgia Standardized Tests Produce Standardized Students
http://www.barrowjournal.com/archives/10443-PACE-Standardized-students.html
Georgia Legislature May Ease Testing Burden
http://onlineathens.com/breaking-news/2015-12-22/georgia-may-ease-teacher-testing-burden-legislators-say-oconee-forum

Illinois Students and Educators Question Validity of PARCC Testing
http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/story/30760481/students-administrators-question-validity-of-parcc-testing

Indiana Lawmakers Clamor to Overhaul School Testing, Accountability
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/lawmakers-clamor-to-overhaul-student-testing-school-accountability/article_70cdd368-671e-5d72-9e73-3a11863e9f18.html
Indiana Superintendents Seek Exemption From "Tainted" Exam Scores
http://www.indystar.com/story/news/education/2015/12/15/superintendents-request-exemption-tainted-istep-scores/77392356/
Indiana State Exam Fiasco Viewed as a "Dumpster Fire"
http://www.reporter.net/opinion/istep-test-viewed-as-a-dumpster-fire/article_fbe29bd8-475d-51c8-86d6-508af128f6f7.html

Iowa School Report Card is a Failure
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2015/12/21/states-report-card-fails/77682412/

Kentucky Curb Time on Tests to Help Students
http://www.kentuckynewera.com/opinion/editorials/article_620b65ae-a394-11e5-bd57-47fd8808a55e.html

Louisiana School Officials Agree ESSA Offers More Flexibility
http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/news/14328748-123/rare-agreement-on-benefits-of-new-federal-education-law

Maine Looks to Capitalize in Power Shift From New Federal Education Law
http://www.pressherald.com/2015/12/21/educators-like-the-shift-in-essa-over-no-child/

Maryland Baltimore Algebra Project Launches Opt-Out Petition Drive
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/opt-baltimore-city-out?source=c.em.cp&r_by=14783914

Missouri Local Educators Cautiously Optimistic About Every Student Succeeds Act
http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/education/local-educators-cautiously-optimistic-about-every-student-succeeds-act/article_5b1d7c15-b63e-5ab6-9822-70aee9e21070.html

Nebraska New System for Evaluating Public Schools
http://www.hebronjournalregister.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1816%3Anew-system-comes-to-nebraska-schools&catid=37%3Afeatured-articles&Itemid=63

New Mexico Is Court Decision the Beginning of the End for "Value-Added" Teacher Assessment
http://dianeravitch.net/2015/12/17/john-thompson-the-beginning-of-the-end-of-vam/
New Mexico Time to Slash Testing Overkill
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/my_view/reader-view-santa-fe-s-schools-need-to-follow-the/article_41562bfd-e085-50ef-b583-10d071835c7c.html

New York Group Calls on Parents to Escalate Opt-Out Campaigns
http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/12/8586029/group-calls-parents-opt-out-local-assessments
New York High-Stakes Testing and the Black Community: Just Say "No"
http://poeticjusticect.com/2015/12/21/high-stakes-testing-and-the-black-community-just-say-no/
New York Threats of School Closure Have Depressed NYC Opt-Out Rate
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-elliot/no-threat-left-behind-new-york-city-stifles-opt-out_b_8814024.html
New York With Moratorium on Test-Based Evaluation in Place, Educators Discuss Alternatives
http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/244433/with-moratorium-in-place-educators-start-offering-evaluation-ideas/

Oklahoma State Board Approves Use of Portfolios, Student Surveys in Teacher Evaluation
http://www.fox23.com/news/news/local/state-board-education-approves-changes-teacher-eva/npmwf/

Pennsylvania Educators Are Happy to Leave "No Child" Behind
http://www.publicopiniononline.com/story/news/education/2015/12/21/happy-leave-nclb-behind/77583146/

Tennessee Will State Use Testing Flexibility in New Federal Law
http://tn.chalkbeat.org/2015/12/16/new-federal-education-law-gives-states-more-flexibility-but-will-tennessee-use-it/#.VnHWhVJkrm4

Texas What Does New Federal Education Law Mean for Local Schools?
http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2015/12/21/131733/after-no-child-left-behind-whats-next-for-texas-schools/

Washington Federal Testing Reset Spells Relief for State
http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/reset-on-federal-education-spending-testing-spells-relief/

West Virginia State Board of Ed Votes to Reduce State Testing Mandates, Revise Standards
http://wvmetronews.com/2015/12/17/state-boe-repeals-next-gencommon-core-adopts-new-academic-standards/

Wyoming Lawmakers Move to Reduce Testing Time
http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/wyoming-lawmakers-move-to-reduce-testing-time-keep-act/article_92f13e2e-9b9e-5814-b371-22b4fd80012c.html

ACT/SAT Test-Optional Policy Improves Admissions Process
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/12/18/an-unexpected-thing-happened-when-this-college-required-less-data-on-their-applications-students-sent-more/
ACT/SAT FairTest List of 850+ Test-Optional and Test-Flexible Colleges and Universities
http://www.fairtest.org/university/optional

"Beyond Measure: Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation"
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/20/books/review/beyond-measure-rescuing-an-overscheduled-overtested-underestimated-generation.html

"50 Myths & Lies That Threaten America's Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education"
http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentID=17897