Testing Resistance & Reform News: October 26 - November 1, 2016

From New York to California and Alaska to Florida, here's this week's news from around the U.S. about the surging grassroots assessment reform.  Remember that friends and allies can sign up for these free updates at http://fairtest.org/weekly-news-signup

Alaska New Law Allows Parents to Opt Children Out of Standardized Exams
http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/10/now-in-effect-new-alaska-law-taking-first-step-against-common-core/

Arkansas Commissioner Seeks Input on New Directions for Accountability
http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2016/oct/26/commissioner-asks-for-input-on-school-a/

California State Rejects Feds Push to Administer Old Science Tests
https://edsource.org/2016/california-officials-reject-federal-governments-push-to-administer-old-science-tests/571171

California Strengths and Weaknesses of New District Accountability Plan
https://edsource.org/2016/finally-districts-accountability-plans-may-be-easier-to-read-and-use/571441

Connecticut Tempers Flare Over Using Student Scores to Evaluate Teachers
http://ctmirror.org/2016/10/25/grading-teachers-tempers-flare-over-use-of-student-test-scores/

Connecticut Reader Responds to Standardized Test Scores
http://woodbridgetownnews.com/letter-reader-responds-standardized-test-scores/

Florida Educators Speak Out on Test-Based Grade Retention
https://theoptoutfloridanetwork.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/teachers-perspectives-on-3rd-grade-retention-in-seminole/

Florida Music Teacher Faces Firing for Test Administration Problems
http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/tampa-teacher-facing-firing-describes-year-end-music-test-as-her-worst/2300320

Georgia Districts Request to Replace State Grade School Testing Denied
http://www.newtoncitizen.com/news/school/ncss-request-for-alternative-testing-denied/article_e64c4fda-1d8c-56fa-a462-f4c48282e7d4.html

Illinois Strong Link Between Poverty and Tests Scores Continues
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20161031/news/161039759/

Indiana School Leaders Demand Replacement of State Test
http://www.indystar.com/story/news/education/2016/10/26/school-leaders-demand-action-istep-replacement/92779862/

Indiana Superintendents' Letter
http://www.thehoosiertopics.com/news/2016-11-01/Columns/Questioning_results_of_ISTEP.html

Michigan Voters Overwhelmingly Oppose Closing Schools Based on Test Scores
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/voters_overwhelmingly_oppose_c.html

New Jersey PARCC Requirements Unfair, Premature
http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/opinion/editorials/2016/10/26/parcc-requirements-unfair-premature/92765760/

New Jersey Board Decries PARCC Grad Test Bar
http://www.capemaycountyherald.com/news/government/article_2b3dcd5a-9f7e-11e6-b4b8-b3cde1f67932.html

New Jersey More Students Refused PARCC Tests in 2016
http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/fewer-millburn-high-school-students-take-n-j-standardized-test-in-2016-1.1682881

New Mexico Trial Date Set in Lawsuit Against Teacher Evaluation System
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/unions-finally-get-trial-date-in-state-s-maligned-teacher/article_70205dd3-69ab-5f21-95c8-ffaad8c2e046.html

New York Selective Arts High School Should Let Applicants Demonstrate Talents, Not Test Scores
http://citylimits.org/2016/10/28/cityviews-citys-arts-high-schools-must-let-kids-demonstrate-talent-rather-than-rely-on-tests/

Ohio Local School Board Opposes State-Mandated Testing
http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/local-education/northmont-school-board-opposes-state-testing/yCBgdrLjCJDKHQOaKDB9TM/

Ohio New Graduation Testing Requirements Under Fire
http://madison-press.com/news/188582/new-graduation-requirements-under-fire

Oklahoma Tulsa Super Says State A-to-F School Grades Deeply Flawed
http://www.newson6.com/story/33499362/tps-superintendent-state-a-f-report-cards-deeply-flawed

Oklahoma Analysis Shows Strong Correlation Between School Ratings and Student Poverty
http://kosu.org/post/analysis-shows-correlation-between-poverty-and-low-performing-schools

Pennsylvania Error Correction Changes Score Reports of 625 Schools
http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/10/error_is_fixed_in_school_repor.html#incart_river_index 

Pennsylvania House Approves Bill Allowing Grad Test Flexibility for Vocational Education Students
http://www.tribdem.com/news/house-approves-bill-giving-test-options-to-vocational-students/article_c4d3421e-9f1b-11e6-ad9c-938167b94e1c.html

Tennessee District to Reconsider Teacher Evaluation System
http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/education/2016/10/31/knox-schools-reconsider-teacher-evalulation-system/93079982/

Texas El Paso Test Cheating Trial Testimony
http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/education/episd/2016/10/25/ex-episd-official-gina-oaxaca-denies-scam-role/92731612/

Texas State Seeks Input on New Federal Education Law But Restrictions Linger
http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/State-seeks-input-on-new-eduction-law-but-10423894.php

Utah State's School Grading System Makes Everything Worse
http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/4506407-155/editorial-utahs-system-of-grading-schools

Wyoming Parents Across America Comments on State ESSA Implementation
http://parentsacrossamerica.org/paa-comments-essa-wyoming-community-roundtable/

ACT/SAT College Admissions Process Unfairly Favors Higher-Income Applicants
http://thewellesleynews.com/2016/10/26/college-admissions-process-unfairly-favors-higher-income-applicants/#comment-2026

International U.K Teachers Threaten Test Boycott as Government Promises Assessment Policy Review
https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/union-ballots-sats-boycott-mps-call-testing-be-suspended

Worth Reading Large Racial Gaps on New Teacher Certification Test
http://hechingerreport.org/on-a-classroom-based-test-for-new-teachers-black-teachers-score-lower/

Worth Reading New Advocacy Group Criticizes Federal Teacher-Prep Regulations
https://dianeravitch.net/2016/11/01/the-federal-teacher-prep-regulations-are-costly-and-harmful/