Testing Resistance & Reform News: July 25 - 31, 2013

Over the summer, there's been a sharp increase in investigative reports about the companies that make standardized exams, the fraudulent school grades derived from them, and the collateral damage from testing overkill. All of this will be valuable ammunition to escalate assessment reform campaigns when school resumes as soon as next week in some parts of the south and west.

Also, starting next weeks Members of Congress are home from DC on a "District Work Period" (aka summer recess) that runs through Labor Day. That means August is a great time to meet with your U.S. Senators and Representative or to speak at their local town meetings pushing policymakers to overhaul federal testing mandates.

Here are this week's top stories and commentaries to use as resources:

Mayland Educators Call for Testing Moratorium
http://touch.baltimoresun.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-76784867/

Indiana Super Manipulated School Grades to Benefit Big Campaign Donor
http://www.jconline.com/viewart/20130729/NEWS01/307290038/AP-Exclusive-G...

Why a Leading "Reformer" Rigged "Accountability"
http://www.jconline.com/article/20130730/OPINION01/307300011/Editorial-W...

"Accountability" is Always Arbitrary and Political (in not Corrupt)
http://cloakinginequity.com/2013/07/29/oh-crap-accountability-is-arbitra...

End of Jeb Bush's Phony "Miracle" -- Florida School Grades Plunge
http://dianeravitch.net/2013/07/26/end-of-jeb-bush-miracle-florida-grade...

Virginia School Grading Plan Earns "F"
http://hamptonroads.com/2013/07/some-educators-give-f-state-plan-grade-s...

Oklahoma Department of Education Reaches $1.2 Million Settlement for Testing Failures
http://www.newson6.com/story/22936995/state-department-of-education-reac...

Superintendent Defends Settlement That Could Increase Testing
http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/State_superintendent_defends_sett...

One Company Controls Tests for Students and Teachers in New York and Many Other States
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20130728/NEWS01/307280019/Pe...

Maniacal Focus on Testing "Drives Stake Through the Heart of Public Education"
http://www.nj.com/times-opinion/index.ssf/2013/07/opinion_nj_education_c...

Tests and Standards Crowding Out Time for Recess
http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/07/despite-many-benefits-recess-for...

Are Accountability "Hawks" Really "Chicken" About Recognizing The Results of Their Policies
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2013/07/john_thompso...

Expensive, Problematic Common Core Tests
http://www.nationaljournal.com/insiders/education/expensive-problematic-...

"No Child" Law Overhaul Faces a Test of Partisanship
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/24/us/politics/education-overhaul-faces-a...

Critics Question Billion Dollar NCLB Tutoring Program
http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/28/5602205/critics-question-billion-dollar...

U.S. Schools Teaching (and Testing) the Wrong Skills
http://www.eschoolnews.com/2013/07/24/zhao-u-s-schools-focusing-on-the-w...?

New Book: De-Testing and De-Grading Schools: Authentic Alternatives to Accountability and Standardization
http://www.amazon.com/-Testing--Grading-Schools-Accountability-Standardi...