Testing Resistance & Reform News: February 24 - March 2, 2021

What a week!  A letter from the Biden Administration's Department of Education asserting that it will reject waivers seeking cancellation of all spring 2021 federally mandated testing, which 10 states had already requested, unleashed a storm of protest from parents, teachers and community leaders, as well as top local and state policy makers.  One measure of the overwhelmingly negative response: visits to FairTest's online guide to opting out from standardized exams more than quintupled in the days following the USDOE announcement.


https://www.fairtest.org/get-involved/opting-out

National Biden Administration Waiver Decision Angers Assessment Reformers
https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/02/26/biden-angers-critics-of-standardized-testing/

National Some States May Still Try to Suspend Standardized Tests Despite Waiver Denial
https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/bidens-testing-stance-leaves-states-tough-choices-some-may-still-try-to-avoid-exams/2021/02

National Schools Need Vaccinations Not Tests and Examinations
https://progressive.org/public-school-shakedown/covid-testing-not-standardized-testing-hagopian-210224/

National Many Parents Expected to Opt Their Children Out of Spring School Tests
https://www.the74million.org/article/parents-expected-to-opt-children-out-of-spring-testing-in-large-numbers-especially-in-places-where-schools-havent-reopened/

Alabama Parents Worry About In-Person Standardized Testing During a Pandemic
https://wbhm.org/feature/2021/some-parents-worry-about-in-person-standardized-testing-during-the-pandemic/

California  State Board of Ed Votes to Seek Flexibility From Federal Testing Requirements
https://yubanet.com/california/state-board-of-education-votes-to-seek-federal-assessment-accountability-and-reporting-flexibilities-due-to-impact-of-covid-19-on-schools/

California State Superintendent:  Not Enough Time Left in School Year to Generate Meaningful Test Results
https://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr21/yr21rel10.asp

Colorado Bill Seeks to Cancel Spring 2021 State School Exams
https://www.denverpost.com/2021/02/25/cmas-tests-colorado/

Colorado Parents, Students Face Questions About Participating in Standardized Testing
https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2021/03/01/colorado-parents-face-tough-choice-standardized-testing/6873808002/

Colorado Car Rally Encourages Opt-Out of Tests
https://kdvr.com/news/local/organized-car-rally-encourages-dps-students-to-opt-out-of-standardized-testing/

Florida Key Lawmaker Calls for Removing Consequences from Spring Test Results
https://www.tampabay.com/news/education/2021/02/24/remove-consequences-from-student-test-results-key-florida-lawmaker-says/

Florida Poll Shows Teachers Want Vaccines, Not Standardized Testing
https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/education/os-ne-teachers-union-poll-florida-20210226-z6xzi7ksfng6vk6vmz67idtram-story.html

Florida Groups May Sue State to Block In-School Standardized Exam Mandate
https://bocanewsnow.com/2021/02/26/palm-beach-school-district-reveals-fsa-testing-dates-but-is-lawsuit-in-works/

Georgia Super Says Students Learning Virtually Will Not Be Required to Return to School to Take Tests
https://www.ajc.com/education/get-schooled-blog/school-chief-we-wont-let-federal-testing-decision-harm-health-safety-of-georgia-students/O4WJGVSG7JCZ7AMESTMD4IDRGM/

Georgia In Mandating Exams Biden Administration Fails First Big Test
https://www.ajc.com/education/get-schooled-blog/opinion-in-mandating-exams-white-house-fails-first-big-test/7DCBCNND2RB3NL2OQL7CXPONHE/

Kentucky Students Should Not Be Forced to Take Standardized Tests During COVID
https://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2021/02/26/kprep-kentucky-students-should-have-take-test-amid-covid-pandemic/6815728002

Maryland Standardized Testing Can Wait This Year
https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-0225-edr-school-testing-20210224-bnih5kmi2beg5haclndzoiy6mu-story.html

Massachusetts Guides to Opting Out of State Exams
https://www.citizensforpublicschools.org/opting-out-of-mcas/

Michigan Officials Push Local Assessments Instead of Statewide Testing
https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/education/2021/02/23/michigan-education-officials-push-local-assessments-test-waiver-bid/4557024001/

New Mexico State Proposes to Test 1% Sample of Students
https://www.santafenewmexican.com/ap/new-mexico-details-its-request-for-student-testing-waiver/article_6e189e36-ad2b-5e67-a2e4-ade926c102d4.html

New York Some State Tests Likely to Be Cancelled
https://www.lohud.com/story/news/education/2021/02/23/ny-must-give-standardized-tests-some-regents-exams-may-canceled/4558846001/

New York  City Schools Chancellor Encourages Parents to Opt Kids Out of Tests This Year
https://www.amny.com/news/carranza-encourages-parents-to-opt-out-of-standardized-tests-this-year/

New York Model Test Opt-Out Letter
https://nysape.org/

Ohio Reaction to Waiver Denials: "Our Teachers Know Where Kids Are"
https://chroniclet.com/news/252657/our-teachers-know-where-kids-are-local-legislators-superintendents-react-to-federal-testing-requirements-amid-pandemic/

Ohio Legislators Scramble to Revamp Testing Plan
https://www.cleveland.com/open/2021/02/ohio-lawmakers-scrambling-to-change-standardized-testing-deadlines-weeks-before-they-begin.html

Pennsylvania State Tells Districts They Can Postpone 2021 Standardized Tests Until Fall Semester
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/careers/pennsylvania-dept-of-education-allows-schools-to-delay-standardized-testing-until-fall/ar-BB1e4vx7

Pennsylvania Why a Prominent Superintendent Is Opting His Kids Out of State Exams
https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/news/2021/03/why-a-prominent-lehigh-valley-superintendent-is-opting-his-own-kids-out-of-pssa-exams.html

Pennsylvania Standardized Testing in the Midst of a Pandemic is Folly
https://news.yahoo.com/editorial-standardized-tests-pandemic-school-190300788.html

Tennessee State Plans for "Non-Punitive" Assessments
https://www.k12dive.com/news/how-are-districts-prepping-for-an-unprecedented-assessment-season/595859/

Washington State Super Wants to Administer Spring 2021 Tests to Only a Small Sample of Students
https://www.knkx.org/post/state-superintendent-says-he-wants-smaller-sample-students-take-standardized-tests

Washington Why Subject Kids to Standardized Exam This Year?
https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/opinion/columnists/2021/02/26/your-turn-isnt-year-standardized-testing/6845776002/

University Admissions ACT Admits Test-Optional Admissions Is Not Going to Fade Away
https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2021/02/26/act-admits-test-optional-admissions-isnt-going-away

University Admissions Four Reasons Why Eliminating GRE Requirements Benefits Students
https://www.ecampusnews.com/2021/03/01/4-reasons-why-eliminating-the-gre-might-benefit-students/?all

Worth Reading Twenty Years of Test-Driven Education "Reform" Failure
https://progressive.org/magazine/twenty-years-failing-schools-ravitch/

Worth Reading Better Ways to Help Parents Know How Their Kids Are Doing
https://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2021/02/big-standardized-test-test.html

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