Testing Resistance & Reform News: March 25 - 31, 2015

The U.S. assessment reform movement is growing so rapidly that it is hard to keep up. This week's clips include stories from 30 states as well as updates from the fight to rollback federal testing mandates

FairTest is a hub for the national testing resistance -- every day dozens of activists, journalists and policy-makers contact us for information and advice. Please help us meet the unprecedented demands for our assistance by making a donation today:  http://tinyurl.com/SupportTestingReform

Opt Out Without Fear of Federal Funds Loss -- updated fact sheet
http://fairtest.org/why-you-can-boycott-testing-without-fear

No Child Left Behind Annual Testing Mandate Shackles Schools and Students
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/03/25/annual-testing-shackles-sch...
What NCLB Got Wrong
http://www.businessinsider.in/Heres-what-No-Child-Left-Behind-got-wrong/...
Contact Your U.S. Senators Today to Support Federal Testing Cutback
http://www.fairtest.org/roll-back-standardized-testing-send-letter-congres

Common Core Tests Will Widen Achievement Gap, At Least At First
http://hechingerreport.org/common-core-tests-will-widen-achievement-gap-...

Alaska Bill Would Protect Parents Who Opt Children Out of Tests
http://www.adn.com/article/20150326/alaska-lawmaker-seeks-legal-protecti...

California Smarter Balanced Interim Exam Not Available for Student Practice
http://edsource.org/2015/smarter-balanced-interim-assessments-delayed-fo...
New Computerized Exams Expected to Lower California Students' Scores
http://www.burbankleader.com/news/tn-blr-lower-test-scores-expected-with...

Colorado State Capitol Rally Pushes for Testing Cutback
http://gazette.com/teachers-rally-shines-light-on-colorado-legislatures-...
Colorado Senate Committee Approves Test Opt-Out Bill
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27795630/colorado-senate-education-com...

Connecticut Parents Discuss Opting Out of Common Core Test
http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2015/03/26/ct-parents-debate-opting-studen...
Turn Focus Away From Testing Toward Teaching and Learning
http://www.ctpost.com/opinion/article/Op-ed-Turn-education-focus-to-stud...

Delaware PTA: Parents Should Have a Say About Their Children's Testing
http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/education/2015/03/25/delaware-p...

Florida Education Leaders Raise More Testing Concerns
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/florida-education-leaders-raise-...
Florida May Stop Holding Back Third Graders Based on Test Scores
http://www.winknews.com/2015/03/26/florida-may-promote-3rd-graders-who-f...

Georgia Governor Signs Bill Awarding 8,000 Young Adults Diplomas Previously Denied by Graduation Test
http://getschooled.blog.ajc.com/2015/03/30/governor-signs-bill-today-ena...
Upcoming Exam Changes Spark Growing Georgia Opt-Out Movement
http://www.examiner.com/article/georgia-s-new-standardized-test-the-chan...

Hawaii Legislature to Hold Hearing on Less-Testing Resolution
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SCR&billnumber...

Idaho District Opts Out of Smarter Balanced Test
http://www.rexburgstandardjournal.com/news/madison-sticks-to-its-no-sbac...

Illinois Star Principal Quits to Protest Over Testing
http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150325/old-town/top-principal-leave-cps...
Illinois Parents Join Growing Opt-Out Movement
http://www.daily-journal.com/news/local/manteno-parents-are-joining-othe...

Indiana Education Policymakers Hemmed in By Federal Mandates and Funding "Strings"
http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/opinion/neal-federal-influence-in-s...

Louisiana: Many New Orleans Schools Cherry-Picked Students to Boost Average Test Scores
http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2015/03/new_orleans_school_choic...
Were New Orleans Parents Talked Out of Boycotting Tests
http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2015/03/common_core_opt_out.html

Maine Writer Looks "Under the Hood" at Smarter Balanced Test
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/03/26/what-i-sa...
Maine Assessment Test Won't Improve Educational Quality
http://www.sunjournal.com/news/columns-analysis/2015/03/29/emily-talmage...

Maryland Parents Push Back Against False Threats for Opting Out
http://www.wmdt.com/news/more-local-news/parcc-testing-concerns-parents-...
Maryland Teachers Concerned With Amount of Standardized Testing
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/laurel/ph-ll-parcc-conc...

Massachusetts Teachers Raise Concerns Over PARCC
http://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20150327/SPECIAL/150329454/-1/NEB...

Michigan Parents Aim to Opt Their Children Out of New State Tests
http://www.macombdaily.com/general-news/20150327/parent-aim-to-opt-their...

Minnesota Test Prep Olympics Another Example of Standardized Exam Overkill
http://www.twincities.com/columnists/ci_27792398/daily-juggle-mcas-arent...
Minnesota Kids and Parents Reject Tyranny of Testing
http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/297851821.html

New Hampshire Faces Opt-Out Protests
http://www.ledgertranscript.com/home/16232545-95/opt-out-option-for-stat...
New Hampshire Family Leads Way With Testing Resistance
http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20150327/GJNEWS_01/150...

New Jersey Opt Outs Top 40,000
http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/nj-parcc-opt-out-or-refusal-numbe...
New Jersey Opt-Out Movement Grows More Racially Diverse
http://parentingthecore.com/2015/03/28/guest-voices-opting-out-in-the-je...
New Jersey Lower House Unanimously Passes Bill Establishing Official Test Opt-Out Policy
http://parsippanyfocus.com/2015/03/27/parcc-in-unanimous-vote-n-j-assemb...

New Mexico Teachers at Breaking Point Over PARCC Workload
http://www.abqjournal.com/561549/news/staff-reach-breaking-point-over-pa...

New York Local School Board Votes to Defy Governor's Test-Based Teacher Evaluation
http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/town-of-tonawanda/ken-ton-board-v...
New York Teachers' Union Head Calls for Test Boycott
http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/231494/going-on-the-offense-...
Chancellor Tisch's Empty Rhetoric Criticizing Families Who Refuse State Tests
http://hechingerreport.org/chancellor-tischs-empty-rhetoric-on-opting-out/

North Dakota Testing Disrupted by Computer "Problematic Anomaly"
http://www.jamestownsun.com/news/state/3708293-common-core-tests-resume

Ohio Students Hurt By Standardized Testing Mandates
http://www.sent-trib.com/opinion/letters/standardized-test-mandates-not-...
Toledo, Ohio Teachers Rally Against Standardized Exam Overkill
http://m.toledoblade.com/Education/2015/03/25/Over-100-city-teachers-ral...

Oklahoma Teachers, Parents Rally for Education Overhaul, Including High-Stakes Testing Moratorium
http://newsok.com/teachers-jam-state-capitol-to-demand-more-support-for-...

Oregon School Testing Debate Moves From Classrooms to State Capitol
http://www.pamplinmedia.com/nbg/241-education/254679-124971-testing-deba...
Oregon Opt-Out Process Raises Ethical Concerns
http://registerguard.com/rg/opinion/32909275-78/new-testing-program-rais...

Pennsylvania Governor Says School Ratings Should Be Less Tied to Tests
http://thenotebook.org/blog/158401/pa-gov-wolf-says-school-ratings-shoul...
Philadelphia District Makes Opt Out Information More Prominent
http://thenotebook.org/blog/158417/district-makes-testing-opt-out-inform...

Rhode Island Parents Who Protest Exam Overkill Deserve Kudos
http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20150327/OPINION/150329285/13833
Rhode Island PARCC Testing Controversy Continues
http://wpri.com/2015/03/28/controversy-over-parcc-exam-continues-amidst-...

South Carolina Parents Group Urges Opt Outs to Protest New State Exams
http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/education/2015/03/30/state-ad...

Texas Tests: STAAR Replaced Four-Letter Words But Not an Improvement
http://www.mrt.com/news/education/article_2c422848-d277-11e4-a0da-9b1198...
Texas House to Consider Graduation Testing Waiver
http://www.kvue.com/story/news/2015/03/30/as-staar-testing-begins-fate-o...

Washington State Legislative Hearing Has 300 Sign-Up to Testify Against Test-Based Teacher Evaluation
http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/over-300-sign-up-to-speak-again...

How to Talk (Back) About Testing to "Reformers"
http://defend-ed.org/how-to-talk-about-testing-really/

Register Now for Network for Public Education National Conference: April 25-26 in Chicago
http://www.networkforpubliceducation.org/2015-national-conference-chicago/

Test-Driven Classrooms Drive More Teachers Out of Education
http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2015/03/30/395322012/the-hidden-costs-of-tea...

New Report: Big Education Firms Spent Billions Lobbying for Pro-Testing Policies
http://www.prwatch.org/news/2015/03/12777/reporters-guide-how-pearson-et...

We're Educating Our Kids All Wrong: The Progressive Argument Against Standardized Test Mania
http://www.salon.com/2015/03/28/were_educating_our_kids_all_wrong_the_pr...