Testing Resistance & Reform News: March 18 - 20, 2015

Normally, FairTest sends out these news clips summaries once a week, early each Tuesday afternoon. With school standardized exam season now in full gear, however, the flow of stories about testing resistance and reform actions is accelerating rapidly. This special edition  -- with updates from more than half the 50 states over just three days -- reports on the first, too-modest steps by policy makers across the U.S. to respond to the growing grassroots pressure for assessment reform. 

As more students opt out, parents demonstrate, school board members pass resolutions and polls show strong public opposition to test misuse and overuse, we are confident that there will be many more updates by next Tuesday and in the coming weeks.

Remember that back-issues of "Testing Resistance & Reform News" are archived at:  http://fairtest.org/news/other

National Revolt Against High-Stakes Testing is Growing: So Is Its Impact
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/03/19/revolt-against-high-stakes-standardized-testing-growing-and-so-does-its-impact/

Arizona School Test Cheating Investigated
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2015/03/arizona_middle_school_fudging_test_scores_investigation_reveals.php

California Tests Graded by Non-Educators
http://www.kcra.com/news/whos-grading-your-kids-assessment-test-in-california/31857614

Colorado Educators Blast Weak Education Reform Bill
http://northdenvernews.com/hickenlooper-johnston-testing-bill-blasted/

Colorado Schools Need Less Testing, More Teaching
http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2015/mar/17/our-view-less-testing-more-teaching/

Connecticut Superintendents Say Students Can Opt Out of Tests, No "Sit and Stare"
http://jonathanpelto.com/2015/03/17/victory-in-ct-parents-can-opt-students-out-of-sbac-tests-students-will-be-provided-alternative-location/

Florida Teacher Urges Parents to Stand Up Against New State Exams
http://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/news/local/clay-county-teacher-speaks-out-against-fsa/nkXyx/#__federated=1

Florida House Unanimously Endorses Small Reduction in Testing Overkill
http://www.gainesville.com/article/20150318/ARTICLES/150319542/-1/guardian

Georgia Parents Launch Opt-Out Drive
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/parents-refuse-let-children-take-standardized-test/nkZLr/

Illinois Students Opt Out of PARCC Tests
http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/arlington-heights/news/ct-parcc-test-walkout-rolling-meadows-hersey-tl-20150317-story.html

Indiana State School Board Member Offers Ideas to Cut Testing Time
http://indianapublicmedia.org/stateimpact/2015/03/18/state-board-education-releases-resolution-cut-testing-time-students/

Louisiana Opt Outs Top 4,000
http://www.bayoubuzz.com/louisiana-news/new-orleans-news/item/843908-louisiana-common-core-test-opt-outs-top-4100-still-1-of-total

Maryland State Senate Votes Unanimous Approval of Test Review Commission
http://somd.com/news/headlines/2015/19199.shtml

Massachusetts Schools Deal with PARCC, Pearson and Pushback
http://www.progressive.org/news/2015/03/188048/p-parcc-pearson-and-pushback

Teachers Say PARCC Is Failing Students and Schools
http://patch.com/massachusetts/framingham/letter-editor-parcc-failing-teachers-and-students-0

Michigan Testing Politics Adds Stress for Students and Teachers
http://hechingerreport.org/common-core-means-three-tests-in-three-years-for-michigan-kids/

Minnesota Assessment Reform Depends in Part on Federal Law Changes
http://www.dglobe.com/news/3701236-school-testing-changes-tough-sell

Minnesota Students Face Too Much Testing
http://www.southernminn.com/owatonna_peoples_press/opinion/article_a5dde418-912b-5f52-8353-3534c3a77c6d.html

Mississippi Ends Graduation Testing Requirement
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2015/03/20/miss-ends-testing-requirement-diploma/25082065/ 
Mississippi Parents, Students Protest PARCC Tests
http://www.wjtv.com/story/28563545/parents-protest-parcc-test-in-rankin-county

New Hampshire Students Administered Wrong Smarter Balanced Assessment
http://www.unionleader.com/article/20150318/NEWS04/150319083

New Jersey Furor Over Test Privacy
http://www.northjersey.com/news/new-furor-over-n-j-tests-as-student-privacy-concerns-raised-1.1290700

Concern Mounting About Pearson's Role in Education
http://www.phillyvoice.com/concerns-rising-over-pearson/

New Mexico Educators Block Test-Based Teacher Evaluation Bill
http://www.daily-times.com/four_corners-news/ci_27732207/new-mexico-dems-flunk-bill-put-student-test

New Mexico Teachers Not Allowed to "Disparage" Standardized Tests
http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2015/03/nm-defending-test.html

New York Is Testing Public Education to Death
http://www.blackagendareport.com/node/14720

New York Must Clear Up Mystery of Missing Test Items
http://citylimits.org/2015/03/16/ny-state-must-clear-up-mystery-of-missing-test-items/

Ohio High School Students Opt Out of New Tests
http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/03/some_high_school_students_opt_out_of_new_tests_on_americas_founding_fathers_and_documents.html

Ohio School District Blasts PARCC Exam
http://www.xeniagazette.com/news/home_top/152309446/Xenia-not-thrilled-with-PARCC

Oregon Schools Begin Testing Under Protests; More Families Opt Out
http://www.pamplinmedia.com/pt/9-news/253902-123219-testing-testing-under-protest-pps-assesses-students-some-parents-opt-out

Scores From New Oregon Test Will Not Be Used on School Report Cards
http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/254361-124343-bill-new-test-wont-count-on-school-report-cards-teacher-evaluations

Pennsylvania's PARCC Tests Benefit Pearson, Not Pupils
http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/letter_standardized_parcc_exam.html

Rhode Island Parents Mobilizing Against New Standardized Test
http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20150314/News/150319530

Tennessee Voters Overwhelmingly Oppose School Closings Based on Test Scores
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/poll-tennessee-voters-overwhelmingly-agree-public-schools-should-not-be-closed-based-solely-on-state-tests-300052573.html

Texas State Senate Overwhelmingly Endorses Bill Easing Graduation Testing Requirement
http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/texas-senate-oks-bill-easing-testing-ultimatum-for/nkYRm/

Utah's New Civics Test Will Waste Student Learning Time
http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2302893-155/letter-new-civics-test-will-waste

Wisconsin Senate Endorses Suspension of School Consequences From Test Scores
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/education/2015/03/17/state-senate-endorses-school-test-score-delay/24909695/

No Child Left Behind Fails to Work "Miracles" -- Spurs Cheating
http://theconversation.com/no-child-left-behind-fails-to-work-miracles-spurs-cheating-38620

Ditch the Test and Punish Model: AFT President
http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/does-no-child-left-behinds-testing-regime-work/ditch-the-test-and-punish-model

What if "Education Reform" Movement Got It All Wrong?
http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/what-if-education-reform-got-it-all-wrong-in-the-first-place

More Testing Promoted as the "Rational Solution" for Schools: That's the Problem
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2015/03/19/more-testing-is-the-rational-solution-for-schools-thats-the-problem/