Testing Resistance & Reform News: January 7 - 13, 2015

As the national fight to end standardized exam overkill escalates nationally and victories continue to mount, FairTest was saddened to learn of the death of Mary Barr, a leader of the Learning Record, a pioneering model for high-quality assessment that does not rely on test scores (http://learningrecord.org/intro.html). This week's large collection of testing reform stories, commentaries and other resources is one testament to her legacy.

Arne Duncan Doubles-Down on Failed "No Child Left Behind" Policies
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2015/01/arne_duncan_presses_for_yearly.html

FairTest: Repealing NCLB Annual Exam Mandate Key to Ending Testing Tyranny
http://fairtest.org/testing-reformers-react-sec-duncans-call-no-child

U.S. Constitution and Opting Out
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/want-your-kids-to-opt-out-of-standardized-tests-the-constitution-may-be-with-you/2015/01/09/bea151b4-973a-11e4-8005-1924ede3e54a_story.html

Florence Alabama School District Seeks Exemption From New State Test
http://www.myfoxal.com/story/27796881/florence-school-leaders-ask-for-assessment-test-exemption

Task Force Recommends Reducing Colorado Testing Burden
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27305954/task-force-recommends-reducing-colorado-testing-burden

Colorado State Board of Ed Supports Allowing District Waivers From Some Tests
http://gazette.com/article/1544273

Reacting to Complaints, Florida Lawmakers Call for Less Testing
http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2015/01/florida-lawmakers-make-testing-troubles-an-early-priority.html

Idaho Committee Flags Problematic Test Questions
http://magicvalley.com/news/local/state-group-flags-problematic-test-questions/article_780fa818-ac2a-5987-be0c-627a00690e7b.html

Opposition to PARCC Test Grows in Illinois Community
http://www.chicagonow.com/still-advocating/2015/01/parcc-standardized-test-divides-evanston-part-i/

What Will Iowa Have to Cut to Pay for New Standardized Tests?
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/2015/01/10/chris-liebig-standardized-testing/21546143/

Reduced Testing for Kansas Students Means More Time for Learning
http://m.cjonline.com/opinion/2015-01-08/editorial-reduced-testing-leaves-time-learning

Federal Education Overhaul May Have Big Impact in Louisiana
http://theadvocate.com/news/11275612-123/federal-education-overhaul-may-have

Mississippi Parents Angry About Testing Hubbub 
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/story/news/education/2015/01/09/parents-angry-hubbub-tests/21518337/

Manchester, New Hampshire Defies State on New Common Core Test
http://www.unionleader.com/article/20150113/NEWS04/150119701

Parents, Teachers, Students Blast New Jersey Exams at Public Hearing
http://www.nj.com/education/2015/01/parcc_exams_blasted_by_parents_teacher_students_at_open_forum.htm

New Jersey District Prepares for Families Who Refuse New PARCC Test
http://nt.gmnews.com/news/2015-01-08/Schools/Superintendent_preparing_for_pupils_who_refuse_tes.html

New York Gov. Cuomo's "Chutzpah" on Teacher Evaluation
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-singer/andrew-cuomo-has-the-chut_b_6455238.html

Western New York Districts Lead Protests Against State "Field Tests"
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2015/01/08/webster-protest-regents-field-testing/21434541/

North Carolina Educators Criticize Test-Based School Grades
http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2015/01/10/wnc-educators-question-letter-grades-schools/21570155/

Oklahoma PTA Expects 50,000 to Call for Assessment Reform at March State Capitol Rally
http://newsok.com/oklahoma-pta-leader-predicts-as-many-as-50000-will-attend-state-capitol-education-rally/article/5383004

Pennsylvania Standardized Testing Isn't Worth the Wasted Classroom Time
http://www.phillymag.com/citified/2015/01/08/inside-take-teacher-says-standardized-testing-toll-great/#cSeWRVb7M6ultDpB.99

Rhode Island Families Should Opt Students Out of New Standardized Tests
http://www.providencejournal.com/opinion/commentary/20150110-sheila-resseger-students-can-opt-out-of-new-tests-in-r.i..ece

South Carolina Students Receive High School Diplomas Previously Blocked by Test Scores
http://www.berkeleyind.com/article/20150110/BI01/150119988/1071/BI

Dallas, Texas Schools Eliminate Some Tests in Response to Parent Concerns
http://educationblog.dallasnews.com/2015/01/dallas-isd-amends-new-teacher-evaluation-eliminates-some-exams-for-elementary-students.html/

State-by-State Graduation Test Requirements: 30 Have No Mandatory Exit Exams
http://tamsatx.org/uploads/3/1/6/2/3162377/exit_exam_state_comparison_2014-15_update-3.pdf

Huge Drop-Off in Passing Rate on New GED Exam
http://www.sacurrent.com/sanantonio/failing-grades-nearly-500000-fewer-americans-passed-the-ged-in-2014/Content?oid=2368410

No Country Has Made Significant Educational Progress Through Test-Based Accountability
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/01/13/u-s-education-policy-federal-overreach-or-reaching-for-the/

It's Time to Repeal "No Child Left Behind"
http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-Editorials/211489/its-time-to-repeal-nclb-legislation#.VK00vi5LUZw

Cartoon: What If We Left All the Children Behind
http://www.harrybliss.com/store/catalog/product/view/id/3064

Will Test-Based Teacher Evaluations Derail Common Core
http://hechingerreport.org/content/will-test-based-teacher-evaluations-derail-common-core_18694/

Proposed Federal Ed School Regulations Likely to Harm Teaching and Learning
http://nepc.colorado.edu/newsletter/2015/01/review-proposed-teacher-preparation

New Book Dissects U.S. Standardized Testing Fixation
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2015/01/06/the-test-book-education-kamenetz/21283411/

What If Tests Were Used Only for Guidance, Not Consequences
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2015/01/naep.html

Standardized Tests Are Weakening Our Democracy
http://www.thenation.com/article/194137/standardized-tests-are-weakening-our-democracy#

Directory of 850 ACT/SAT-Optional Colleges and Universities
http://www.fairtest.org/university/optional

Standardized Tests Create Barriers for New Asian Immigrants
http://www.iexaminer.org/2015/01/standardized-tests-asian-parents-need-to-be-a-part-of-the-solution/

Kindergarten Reading Expectation is Unrealistic, Developmentally Inappropriate
https://deyproject.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/readinginkindergarten_online-1.pdf

Model Legislation: Too Young to Test Act
http://www.progressiveagenda.org/too_young_to_test_act

What's Ahead in Education for 2015?
http://takingnote.learningmatters.tv/?p=7412

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office-   (239) 395-6773   fax- (239) 395-6779
mobile- (239) 699-0468
web-  http://www.fairtest.org