Testing Resistance & Reform News: February 17 - 23, 2021 -- Time to Opt Out!

     The Biden Administration's decision to require the administration of federally mandated standardized exams this year contradicts the judgement of parents, educators, and community leaders.  At least 10 states had already prepared test waiver requests, both major teacher unions oppose the exams, and polls showed that a majority of parents wanted tests suspended. 

     Claiming that assessment without accountability -- testing without federal consequences -- is some sort of "compromise" is not sufficient. Scores from exams administered during a pandemic are certain to be inaccurate and unfair.  Worse, they are still likely to be misused to rate schools and teachers, rather than to help students. 
     FairTest is already working with families and grassroots groups across the nation to build a huge, powerful opt-out movement in Spring 2021:  Testing is not teaching. 
     See how to get involved -- 
https://www.fairtest.org/get-involved/opting-out

National Biden Administration Says States Must Administer Standardized Exams This Year
https://www.chalkbeat.org/2021/2/22/22296173/biden-administration-state-tests

National Spring Testing Won't Help Students, Parents, Teachers or Schools
http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2021/02/biden-administration-wont-waive-big.html

Arizona Governor Signs Bill Waiving School Letter Grades for This Year
https://ktar.com/story/4038268/bill-makes-arizona-schools-letter-grades-more-flexible-this-year/

Colorado Lawmaker Presses Ahead with Bill to Suspend State Testing Despite Federal Waiver Denials
https://co.chalkbeat.org/2021/2/22/22296435/colorado-lawmaker-pushing-ahead-with-effort-to-suspend-state-testing-despite-federal-requirements

Colorado Thousands of Parents, Teachers Sign Petition Calling for State Test Suspension
https://www.koaa.com/news/covering-colorado/more-than-12k-teachers-parents-sign-petition-urging-state-lawmakers-to-forgo-standardized-testing

Delaware Three Fourths of State Legislators Call for Filing Federal Standardized Testing Waiver
https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2021/02/16/75-of-delaware-legislators-write-letter-to-secretary-bunting-urging-delaware-to-request-waiver-from-us-doe-for-smarter-balanced-assessment/

Florida With So Much "Progress Data," Why Administer the State Exams?
https://accountabaloney.com/index.php/2021/02/16/with-all-that-robust-progress-monitoring-data-why-do-we-need-to-administer-the-fsa-at-all/

Florida Testing Is a Political Scam
https://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2021/02/testing-in-florida-is-nothing-but-scam.html

Georgia  State Resubmits Testing Waiver Request Stating "The Middle of a Global Pandemic Is No Time for High-Stakes Tests" 
https://www.ajc.com/education/georgia-asks-biden-white-house-for-school-standardized-test-waiver/V5SNIQV6HNHDDPSNQ2VEVSME6A/

Illinois Board of Education Seeks Federal Testing Waiver
https://illinoisnewsroom.org/isbe-seeks-to-waive-state-assessments-address-drop-in-public-school-enrollment-during-pandemic-2/

Massachusetts Bill Filed to Lower Stakes on State Exams, Waive Graduation Test Requirement
https://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/local_news/attleboro-state-lawmaker-files-bill-to-modify-high-stakes-mcas/article_f4f653b1-e8b6-56f7-b6f9-ac9c291d8ce2.html

Massachusetts Groups Call on State Officials to Seek Federal Testing  Waiver
https://www.masslive.com/boston/2021/02/citizens-for-public-schools-other-organizations-ask-massachusetts-education-officials-to-obtain-waiver-to-suspend-mcas.html

Michigan If Teachers Say Standardized Tests "Stink," Maybe We Should Listen
https://www.bridgemi.com/guest-commentary/opinion-if-teachers-think-standardized-tests-stink-maybe-we-should-listen

Michigan As Feds Require Annual Exams, State Officials Look to Promote Local Tests Instead
https://detroit.chalkbeat.org/2021/2/22/22296593/as-feds-require-state-exams-michigan-education-officials-look-to-promote-local-tests-instead

New Jersey Governor Will Seek Federal Testing Waiver
https://www.nj.com/education/2021/02/nj-school-standardized-testing-should-be-waived-this-year-due-to-covid-state-tells-feds.html

New Jersey Educators, Administrators Applaud Waiver Request
https://www.insidernj.com/press-release/njea-njasa-njpsa-joint-statement-federal-testing-waiver/

New York State Teachers' Union Rebukes Federal Decision to Require Annual Tests
https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/education/nysut-rebukes-federal-decision-to-require-state-standardized-exams/

New York Interview System for Identifying Gifted Students Replaces Standardized Exam
https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2021/2/17/22288448/nyc-gifted-admissions-2021

Pennsylvania Should Pennsylvania Be Forced to Administer Federally Mandated Tests This Year?
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2021/02/should-pa-schools-be-forced-to-give-assessment-tests-in-pandemic-educators-want-feds-to-waive-mandate.html

Texas Online Learners Will Not Be Required to Take State Annual Exams
http://www.kaufmanherald.com/around_town/article_89deb0e8-706e-11eb-ab4c-8f4de82fd684.html

Wisconsin Will State Use Tests as a "Hammer" to Get Kids Back in Classrooms?
https://wisconsinexaminer.com/2021/02/19/the-hammer-of-student-testing/

International Canadian Teacher Union Leader Urges Parents to Skip School Tests as "Waste of Time"
https://www.citynews1130.com/2021/02/16/bctf-standardized-testing/

University Admission New List Shows 1,350+ Schools Are Already ACT/SAT-Optional for Fall 2022 Applicants (current high school juniors)
https://www.fairtest.org/more-half-all-us-colleges-and-universities-are-alr

University Admission Making ACT/SAT Optional Will Remove Barriers and Create Opportunity
https://sentinelcolorado.com/orecent-headlines/spiegel-sharkey-making-college-admission-tests-optional-will-remove-barriers-and-create-opportunity/

University Admission  Flagship Chancellor Supports Test-Optional Admissions Proposal
https://coloradosun.com/2021/02/17/cu-boulder-admissions-opinion/

Bob Schaeffer, interim Executive Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office-  (239) 395-6773    mobile-  (239) 699-0468
web-  http://www.fairtest.org