Testing Resistance & Reform News: March 9 - 15, 2016

In state after state, policymakers are responding to constituent concerns by re-evaluating testing mandates.  The changes they initially consider are often cosmetic, such as substituting one mediocre exam for another.  But escalating grassroots pressure -- particularly opting out -- is beginning to force legislators to focus on the real problems of standardized testing overuse and misuse. Already, several have repealed or postponed requirements to evaluate teachers based on student tests scores. By working together, parents, students, teachers, administrators, academics and community activists can increase the odds that more genuine assessment reforms are enacted this year.

National Is a New Day Really Dawning with "No Child" Successor Law?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/03/11/is-a-new-...
National Why the Opt-Out Movement is Good for Students and Parents of Color
http://www.progressive.org/pss/six-reasons-why-opt-out-movement-good-stu...

Multiple States Southern States Reconsidering Role of Student Test Scores in Teacher Evaluation
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacherbeat/2016/03/reconsidering_test_sc...
Multiple States On-Line Testing Stumbles Spark Legislation
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/03/09/online-testing-stumbles-spa...
FairTest Chronology of Computerized Testing Problems
http://fairtest.org/computerized-testing-problems-2013-2015

Arizona Legislature Supports Test Shopping "Menu" Instead of Endorsing Opting Out
http://www.tucsonweekly.com/TheRange/archives/2016/03/09/state-testing-o...
Arizona Governor Signs Bill Allowing "Menu" of State Tests
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/03/11/ducey-signs-bill-allowing-m...

California Proposed History, Social Science Exams Raise Questions About Testing Burden
http://edsource.org/2016/proposed-history-social-science-tests-raise-con...
California Opting-Out Protects Children From Testing Fixation
http://www.citywatchla.com/index.php/the-la-beat/10714-tests-and-childre...

Colorado Don't Add Another Mandatory Test
http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_29622733/dont-add-another-mandat...
Colorado Opt Out Billboards
http://www.uniting4kids.com/?na=v&id=4&nk=143-5641f8a865

Connecticut Another Year Delay in Using Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers
http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Another-year-reprieve-from-using-tes...

Florida Opting Out a Strong Backlash to Overzealous Standardized Testing
http://www.bradenton.com/opinion/editorials/article64764797.html
Florida Students Start Opting-Out of Standardized Tests
http://weartv.com/news/local/local-students-now-opting-out-of-standarize...
Florida Don't Tie Teacher Bonuses to Their Old College Admissions Exam Scores
http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/ruth-dont-tie-sat-scores-to-teac...

Georgia Test Reformers Make More Progress in State Legislature
http://www.myajc.com/news/news/local-education/school-testing-opponents-...

Indiana Legislature Kills Current Test But Will Its Replacement Have Lower Stakes?
http://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/with-istep-dead-can-the-new-version-lo...
Indiana Misuse of Scores in Test-and-Punish Policies is Major Problem
http://www.journalgazette.net/opinion/columns/A-complex-issue--simplifie...

Louisiana Standardized Testing Is Not What Matters
http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/opinion/2016/03/08/voices-standardize...

Maine Poised for the Latest Standardized Testing Debacle
http://fromthemiddle.bangordailynews.com/2016/03/11/home/poised-for-the-...

Maryland Educators Urge State to Test Less
http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/opinion/2016/03/09/column-hammer-201603...
Maryland Test Exemption Bill Heard by Legislative Committee
http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/continuing_coverage/annapolis_2016...
Maryland Letters to Editor Say Schools Focus Too Much on Testing
http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/opinion/2016/03/14/maryland-schools-foc...

Massachusetts Administrators Exclude Teachers From Testing Conversation With Parents
http://www.cambridgeday.com/2016/03/10/surprise-exclusion-of-teachers-ri...
Massachusetts Tool Kit: How to Organize An Opt-Out House Party
http://www.citizensforpublicschools.org/the-facts-on-opting-out-of-mcas-...

New Jersey Schools Post Instructions on How to Refuse State Tests
https://www.tapinto.net/towns/basking-ridge/sections/education/articles/...

New York Educator Supported by Opt-Out Groups On Verge of Election as State Ed Chancellor
http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/bronx-educator-with-support-of-op...
New York Why the Opt Out Movement Will Continue to Grow
https://optoutcny.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/the-rest-of-the-story/
New York Mobile Billboard Promotes Opting Out
http://dianeravitch.net/2016/03/12/opt-out-truck/

North Carolina Educators, Activists Pan State's School Grading System
http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2016/03/15/panel-of-educators-activists-p...

Ohio Does State Testing Format Deserve an "F"?
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2016/03/08/in-state-testing-does-form...

Oregon Letter Challenges Whether Computerized Test Scores Are Comparable with Pencil-and-Paper Exams
http://www.mailtribune.com/article/20160309/OPINION/160309659

Tennessee Hundreds Plan to Opt Out of State Exams
http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/31447426/41-percent-of-normal-park-opts-out-...
Tennessee State Representative Opts Daughter Out of Testing, Organizes Other Parents
http://www.wbrc.com/story/31419681/lawmaker-wife-to-hold-meeting-for-par...

Utah New Law Removes Student Test Scores From Teacher Evaluation
http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2016/03/11/pdd-law-passes-remov...

West Virginia Legislature Passes Bill Affirming Common Core Test Repeal, Bars Opt-Out Punishments
http://wvmetronews.com/2016/03/12/bill-dealing-with-common-core-standard...

International Pension Fund Stockholders Challenge Pearson's Heavy Reliance on U.S. Testing Business
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/03/10/pension-f...

ACT/SAT Test Revisions Don't End Debate on Bias and Inequality in College Admissions Exams
http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/new-sat-gets-better-reviews-...
ACT/SAT College Admissions Tests for All Students? One More Bad Idea From Political Elites
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/work_in_progress/2016/03/sats_for_all_o...
ACT/SAT Wells College Admissions Now Test Optional
http://auburnpub.com/news/local/wells-college-admissions-now-test-option...
ACT/SAT University of Minnesota Leaders Debate Dropping Admissions Exam Requirement
http://www.mndaily.com/news/campus/2016/03/09/u-leaders-debate-use-act-test

Teaching, Not Testing, Makes Better Students
http://phys.org/news/2016-03-students.html