Testing Resistance & Reform News -- February 4 - 10, 2015

This week's news stories and opinion columns -- from more than half the 50 states -- demonstrate the rapidly growing breadth and depth of the U.S. assessment reform movement. As the school testing season draws near, we expect parent and student opt-out campaigns, teacher boycotts, community teach-ins, demonstrations, school board resolutions, and legislative hearings will escalate pressure on policy-makers to roll back widespread misuse and overuse of standardized exams.  As always, please feel free to call on FairTest for assistance.

Add Your Voice -- Write Congress Now -- Demand Less Testing, No High Stakes
http://fairtest.org/roll-back-standardized-testing-send-letter-congres

Don't Leave the Questioning Child Behind By Renewing NCLB's Annual Testing Mandate
http://www.citizen-times.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/02/06/leave-questioning-child-behind-nclb/22974207/

Could Local Tests Be the Way Forward in NCLB Debate?
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2015/02/could_local_tests_be_the_way_f.html

Alaska School Counselors Decry Toll From Over-Testing
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2015-02-03-2

Arizona Legislature Advances Bill to Eliminate Grad. Test Requirement
http://azdailysun.com/news/local/state-and-regional/aims-test-bill-advances/article_cfc3877f-c711-51d1-8963-e61b55a7cdb4.html

California Seeks Exemption from "No Child" Test Score Requirements
http://edsource.org/2015/state-pushing-for-exemption-from-nclb-test-score-requirement/73497#.VNIjBOFLUZw

Colorado State School Board Votes to Support Testing Cutback
http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/vote-aims-8232to-reduce-8232student-8232testing/

PARRC Won't Solve Colorado Schools' Testing Problem
http://www.denverpost.com/voices/ci_27468887/colorado-voices-parcc-wont-solve-our-testing-problems

Connecticut Students Ask School Board to Help Fight Standardized Tests
http://www.theridgefieldpress.com/41149/students-ask-board-to-help-battle-tests/

Superintendents Tell Governor: Freeze Florida School Grades, Eliminate Some Tests
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-superintendents-governor-school-grades-testing-post.html

Florida Teachers Plan to Protest Jeb Bush's "Education Summit"
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/florida-teachers-plan-to-protest-jeb-bushs-education-summit/2216158

Federal, State "Ed Reform" Policies Make Georgia Schools Worse, Not Better
http://onlineathens.com/uga/2015-02-04/federal-state-education-reform-policies-are-making-schools-worse-not-better-says-uga

Georgia Educator's Plea: Reduce Testing to Increase Teaching Time
http://getschooled.blog.ajc.com/2015/02/10/a-teachers-plea-to-georgia-lawmakers-lessen-testing-so-we-can-return-to-teaching/

Illinois Drops Federally Mandated Science Exams
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-no-science-test-met-20150205-story.html

Illinois Supers Urge PARCC Testing Delay: Technology Not Ready for Fair Administration
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/02/06/superintendents-urge-common-core-testing-delay-how-can-test-data-be-valid-under-testing-conditions-like-this/

Indiana Parents and Educators Express Concerns About Length and Pressure of State-Mandated Tests
http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/parents-and-school-officials-express-concerns-over-length-of-istep-test/31098428

PARCC Testing Upsets Louisiana Parents, Students and Teachers
http://710keel.com/242265/

Maine Will Examine Problems with New Online Testing System
http://www.sunjournal.com/news/lewiston-auburn/2015/02/04/commissioner-state-will-look-lewiston-online-testing-concerns/1651405

Western Massachusetts Ed Leaders Coalition Protests Exam Mandates
http://www.iberkshires.com/story/48448/North-Adams-School-Officials-Back-Coalition-Protesting-Mandates-Testing.html

Massachusetts Officials Demonstrate How Not to Respond to Opt Out Requests
http://edushyster.com/?p=6363

Newark Mayor Supports Opting Out From New Jersey State Tests
http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2015/02/baraka_parcc_test_is_unproven.html

Parents and Teachers Fuel Growing New Jersey Opt-Out Drive
http://www.northjersey.com/news/more-parents-fuel-opt-out-drive-for-nj-test-1.1267895

Legislature, School Districts Scramble to Put New Jersey Opt-Out Policies in Place
http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/02/08/legislators-school-districts-scramble-to-put-parcc-policies-in-place/

The Problems With New Mexico's Tests From a Student Perspective
http://www.taosnews.com/opinion/article_d8b06c80-ad5a-11e4-9e0c-2b23ac7765fb.html

Opt-Out Advocates Get New York City Mayor's Attention
http://ny.chalkbeat.org/2015/02/03/opt-out-advocates-get-attention-from-citys-most-powerful-couple/#.VNIjxOFLUZw

New York Governor Holds Education Funding Hostage in Demand for More Testing
https://www.longislandexchange.com/press-releases/aqe-on-education-budget-cuomo-is-holding-school-children-hostage-to-politically-motivated-agenda/

Op Ed: North Carolina Can Move Beyond Test-and-Punish Policies
http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/04/4530781_moving-beyond-test-and-punish.html?rh=1

North Carolina Educators Criticize School Grading Scheme
http://www.news-record.com/news/schools/official-wary-of-grading-schools/article_fc74d81c-ac16-11e4-a769-b384d49dbb99.html

Ohio Parents Planning to Opt Out of Common Core Testing
http://www.fox45now.com/shared/news/top-stories/stories/wrgt_vid_24611.shtml

Ohio Teacher Implores School Board to Curb Testing
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2015/02/05/teacher-implores-elyria-board-curb-testing/

Responding to Pressure, Oklahoma Super Eliminates Writing Field Test 
http://kfor.com/2015/02/07/superintendent-nixes-writing-field-tests-to-relieve-excessive-testing-for-oklahoma-students/

Education Panel's Recommendations Could Shake Up Oregon Testing
http://www.opb.org/news/article/education-panels-proposal-could-shake-up-testing-in-oregon-schools/

Oregon Ed. Chief Endorses One-Year "Pass" on Test-Based School Ratings
http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2015/02/oregon_chief_education_officer_3.html

Research Indicates Pennsylvania School Accountability Measure is Inaccurate
http://news.psu.edu/story/343536/2015/02/04/research/research-suggests-school-accountability-measure-inaccurate

Teacher Quits to Protest Pennsylvania's Excessive School Testing
http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/l-s-teacher-quits-over-standardized-testing-says-leaving-breaks/article_9e83c0f2-ae31-11e4-8543-0bc4ff61bc24.html

Tennessee Education Association Sues to Stop Test-Based "Value Added" Teacher Evaluations
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/my-kid-my-school/tea-sues-over-teacher-evaluations_05129342

Confusion Abounds Over Utah's Test Opt-Out Rules
http://www.standard.net/Education/2015/02/07/State-law-about-opting-out-of-tests-clarified.html

Principal Urges Virginia Policymakers to Drop A - F School Grades
http://www.tricities.com/news/article_fac8de16-aceb-11e4-8c9c-c34037829869.html

Washington State Legislators Debate Graduation Exam Repeal Bills
http://www.thenewstribune.com/2015/02/03/3621756_no-tests-required-for-high-school.html?rh=1

Teachers Threaten to Boycott Washington State Common Core Tests
http://www.rentonreporter.com/news/290844991.html#

Technical Problems Force Wisconsin to Scale Back Computerized Tests
http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/local_schools/wisconsin-students-will-take-scaled-back-common-core-aligned-tests/article_c82a4638-7c30-5c5b-a88c-870f1bb7c496.html

Wyoming Senate Gives Initial Approval to Assessment Overhaul Legislation
http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/wyoming-senate-approves-first-reading-of-school-testing-bill/article_7b690154-4316-57c2-87c8-9fb9cd1c39ee.html

Major National Ed. Group Calls for Two-Year Moratorium on Using Test Scores for Teacher, School Evaluation
http://www.districtadministration.com/article/ed-group-wants-halt-high-stakes-testing-evaluations

Ten Things You Need to Know About International Assessments
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/02/03/ten-things-you-need-to-know-about-international-assessments/

"Beyond Measure" -- Support Production of a New Film About Educational Transformation by the "Race to Nowhere" Team
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/890507170/beyond-measure