Testing Resistance & Reform News: March 8 - 14, 2017

In state after state -- and even in Washington DC -- lawmakers are responding to grassroots' concerns by beginning to rein in standardized exam overuses and misuses. There's still a long way to go to win comprehensive assessment reform but there is concrete evidence of real progress. Check out FairTest's new test opt-out resources to see how you can add to the pressure during this year's testing season.  

National ESSA Test Accountability Rules Swept Aside by Congress
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/09/us/every-student-succeeds-act-essa-congress.html

National ESSA Implementation is Now a Big, Big Mess
http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2017/03/essa-big-mess.html

National Did Sec. DeVos Ask States to Ignore Stakeholder Participation for ESSA Plans
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/03/14/did-betsy-devos-just-ask-states-to-ignore-part-of-federal-education-law

National FairTest Opt-Out Fact Sheets Revised to Reflect ESSA Rule Repeal as Testing Season Begins
http://www.fairtest.org/why-you-can-boycott-testing-without-fear

http://www.fairtest.org/get-involved/opting-out

http://www.fairtest.org/federal-law-and-regulations-opting-out-under-essa

Multiple States "A to F" School Rankings Draw Local Pushback
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/03/08/a-f-school-rankings-draw-local-pushback.html

Arkansas Legislator Questions State Funding of ACT Testing
http://www.arkansasmatters.com/news/local-news/act-aspire-test-questioned-by-ar-lawmaker/668282055

Arkansas School Grades Track Poverty
http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2017/mar/12/poverty-race-and-arkansas-school-grades/?opinion

California Smarter Balanced, ACT and SAT Fight Over State Testing Control
https://edsource.org/2017/turf-battle-developing-over-who-can-test-californias-11th-graders/578262

California New School Accountability Dashboard
http://www.montereyherald.com/opinion/20170310/nancy-kotowski-californias-new-school-accountability-dashboard

Colorado School Offers Incentives to Entice Kids to Take Tests
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/03/08/school-offers-incentives-to-get-kids-to-take-common-core-standardized-test/

Florida Senators Tout Benefits of Cutting State Exams
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-testing-senators-proposal-exams-montford-lee-20170308-story.html

Florida Bill Would Eliminate Some Testing Requirements
http://extracredit.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2017/03/09/bill-would-end-these-high-school-end-of-course-exams/

Georgia School Leaders Seek Options on Testing Mandates
http://www.northfulton.com/stories/School-leaders-ask-foroptions-on-testing-mandates,102728

Georgia Bill Seeks Escape Hatch From State Tests
http://www.ajc.com/news/local-education/bill-seeks-escape-hatch-from-state-tests-using-wouldn-ruin-kids/UQP25pOkDCzw64nPvMBrVL/

Illinois New School Evaluation Plan Adds a Few Non-Test Factors
https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/what-you-need-to-know-about-illinois-replacement-for-no-child-left-behind-law/7e4120b6-83d2-4129-86dd-229959491a27

Indiana State Test is Neither Valid Nor Reliable
http://www.journalgazette.net/opinion/columns/ISTEP-odyssey-underscores-unreliability-18174859

Maine City Leads Way in Opt-Out Push
http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/0001/11/30/lewiston-leads-way-push-opt-out-school-testing/2091364

Massachusetts Less Testing More Learning Group Seeks Opt-Out Policy Clarification
http://www.citizensforpublicschools.org/less-testing-more-learning-ma-campaign/letter-to-commissioner-chester-re-opt-out-clarification/

Massachusetts Educators, Legislators Pushes for Alternative Assessment Measures
http://www.thesomervilletimes.com/archives/74367

Michigan Plans for A to F School Grades Dropped
http://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2017/03/13/schools-grades-state-superintendent/99121472/

Michigan Debate Persists About Best Way to Assess Schools
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/state-region/debates-persist-on-best-way-to-assess-schools/article_a7db1ab3-ab33-5aff-be76-e803a61c5a3c.html

New Jersey Resist Administrators Pressure to Take PARCC
http://elfasd.blogspot.com/2017/03/parcc-season-brings-desperate-actions.html

New Jersey Why Is State Requiring Third Graders to Take Test on Computers
https://dianeravitch.net/2017/03/13/new-jersey-parent-why-is-the-state-requiring-third-grade-students-to-take-the-parcc-test-on-a-computer/

New York Activists Promote Sample Test Refusal Letter
http://www.nysape.org/2016-2017-nys-refusal-letter.html

New York Opt-Out to Stop High-Stakes Testing
http://www.fltimes.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/letter-nclb-led-to-high-stakes-testing-that-has-eroded/article_d164e872-033c-11e7-b9b0-9ba6a17824ff.html

New York Minor Test Changes Won't Change Exam School Diversity
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/de-blasio-shsat-test-timid-article-1.2992165

Ohio Under Pressure State Agrees to Review Testing
http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170313/complaints-get-state-to-review-amount-of-testing

Ohio Principals Question High-Stakes Testing
http://thecourier.com/local-news/2017/03/13/fhs-principal-questions-high-stakes-testing/

Pennsylvania Senator Says Standardized Tests Aren't Worth the Hefty Cost
http://abc27.com/2017/03/07/standardized-tests-arent-worth-the-hefty-cost-state-senator-says/

Texas Model Assessment Reform Legislative Advocacy Resources
http://www.tamsatx.org/legislative-efforts.html

Utah Suspension of School Grading Approved by House
http://www.sltrib.com/news/5027812-155/house-approves-revised-system-with-a

Washington State House of Representatives Votes to Scrap Graduation Test Requirements
http://www.dailyrecordnews.com/news/state-house-passes-bill-removing-graduation-test-requirements/article_73cb8a75-03c5-521f-bfbb-5f89cca4eea4.html

West Virginia State Board Scraps A-to-F School Grading System
http://www.theintelligencer.net/news/top-headlines/2017/03/west-virginia-scraps-a-f-grading-system-for-schools/

University Admission Harvard Law Dropping LSAT Could Lead to Sweeping Admission Changes
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/harvard-law-school-dropping-lsat-could-lead-sweeping-changes-n731876

University Admission Worcester State Goes Test Optional
http://www.worcester.edu/test-optional/

University Admissions FairTest Updates List of 925+ ACT/SAT Colleges and Universities
http://fairtest.org/university/optional

Worth Reading Eight Reasons to Opt Out
http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2017/03/reasons-to-opt-out.html

web-  http://www.fairtest.org