Testing Resistance & Reform News: July 9 - 15, 2014

The accelerating testing resistance and reform movement is beginning to produce modest victories across the country.  Reflecting constituent pressure, more politicians are speaking out against over-testing. A few have established commissions to investigate the problem (and solutions). Several state legislatures have voted to cut back the number of tests and reduced their consequences. Classroom teachers have pushed their national associations to adopt stronger positions. More news stories and opinion columns recognize the failure of test-and-punish policies and examine alternatives. The grassroots movement continues to build power as local activists plan to be even more effective in the 2014-2015 school year.

Of course, much more fundamental changes are needed -- an interim goal should be a moratorium on high-stakes testing, allowing time to develop and implement better assessment systems. That, in turn, will require an overhaul of both state and federal testing mandates, which will increasingly be organizers' focus in the coming year.

California Governor Brown Denounces Testing Overkill
http://www.aft.org/newspubs/news/2014/071114brown.cfm

Colorado Test Review Commission Begins Work
http://co.chalkbeat.org/2014/07/15/as-a-state-panel-convenes-to-examine-...

Critics of D.C. Education Policies Question Reported Test-Score Gains
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/critics-of-dc-education-po...

Orlando School Board Member Says Purpose of Florida Test is to Flunk Kids, Build Support for School Privatization
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-ed-fcat-sour-note-myword-...

Choosing Between Testing and True Learning in Illinois Classrooms
http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/28420660-452/choosing-between-te...

Kansas Won't Release Any Scores From Disrupted 2014 State Test Administration
http://www.kansas.com/2014/07/08/3544578/kansas-wont-release-data-from.html

Michigan's Deceptive Private School Test Scores
http://www.mlive.com/opinion/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2014/07/julie_mack_test...

New Jersey Rolls Back Test-Based Teacher Evaluation Rules; Commission Will Study Role of Exams
http://www.northjersey.com/news/christie-delays-use-of-student-test-scor...

New Mexico to Correct Flawed Teacher Evaluation Scores
http://www.abqjournal.com/428843/news/corrected-teacher-evals-due-before...

Test Scores Are No Sure Guide to What New York Students Know
http://online.wsj.com/articles/test-scores-are-no-sure-guide-to-what-stu...

Grassroots Revolt Against Test-Driven "Reform" Changes Oklahoma Politics
http://www.okgazette.com/oklahoma/article-21757-education-for-the-pe.html

Portland Oregon School Board to Call for Delay in Common Core Test Based Evaluations
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/07/portland_school_boa...

Rhode Island Legislators Did Right Job in Voting for Grad Test Delay
http://www.providencejournal.com/opinion/commentary/20140712-gregg-amore...

Tennessee Educators Criticize Use of Standardized Tests as "Be-All, End-All" of Education
http://www.claiborneprogress.net/news/opinion_columns/5218828/Profession...

Meaningless Texas Test Scores
http://educationblog.dallasnews.com/2014/07/the-story-of-tom-ratliffs-da...

Number of Required Virginia Tests Reduced
http://www.fauquier.com/news/article/public_schools_ease_pressure_for_st...

Beyond Bubble Tests: Why We Need Performance Assessments
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/education_futures/2014/07/beyond_the_bubb...

What Would Mark Twain Think About Common Core Tests?
http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/07/what-would-mark-twa...

Why is Arne Duncan Still Pushing The Dangerous "Low Expectations" Myth?
http://www.alternet.org/education/why-arne-duncan-still-pushing-dangerou...

When Will the Testing Obsession End?
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2014/07/when_will_t...

One Reason Why Poor Schools Can't Win at Standardized Testing
http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/07/why-poor-schools-can...

AFT Escalates Fight Against Common Core Assessments
http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/american-federation-of-teachers-co...

NEA Advocates Cutback in Federal Exam Mandate -- Cyber-Lobbying Link
http://www.nea.org/home/59488.htm

Teachers Unions Latest to Back Away From Common Core Testing Embrace
http://voiceofrussia.com/us/news/2014_07_12/Major-Teachers-Union-Latest-...

Special Education Taken Over By Testing Frenzy
http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/07/special_education_taken_over...

Here's Why We Don't Need Standardized Tests
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/07/09/36jouriles.h33.html