Testing Resistance & Reform News: October 7 - 13, 2015

This week's top news story is the decision by the nation's most populous state, California, to suspend its exit exam mandate retroactively. That means some 32,000 young people, who had been denied graduation solely by a test score, now may receive a high school diploma.  Policy makers in five other states also suspended graduation testing requirements in just the past two years, a testament to the growing clout of the grassroots assessment reform movement -- for details, see http://fairtest.org/california-suspends-high-school-graduation-test

Multiple States Definition of "Proficient" Still Varies Among Common Core Consortia Members
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/07/us/test-scores-under-common-core-show-...

Arizona Unreasonable Testing Mandate Leads to Teacher Shortages
http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/guest/kathy-scott-unreasonable-fed...

California Exit Exam Suspended, 32,000 High School Diplomas Can be Awarded Retroactively
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-me-pc-high-school-exit-exam-20151007-...
California Grad Test Repeal Gives Hope to Thousands Seeking Diplomas
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/With-Exit-Exam-scrapped-searc...

Florida 2015 Opt-Out Rate Surges
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-fsa-sco...
Florida School Tests Undermine Student Academic Performance
http://www.wuft.org/news/2015/10/06/standardized-testing-affects-alachua...
Florida Parents Groups Call for Suspension of Test-Based School Evaluations
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-parent-...

Hawaii New Testing Regime Is a Recipe for Disaster
http://dianeravitch.net/2015/10/09/hawaii-educarors-disparage-sbac-tests/

Indiana Setting Test Score Cut-Offs is Largely Political Guesswork
http://in.chalkbeat.org/2015/10/07/indiana-is-about-to-decide-what-it-ta...

Kentucky Accountability Should Consider the Whole Student
http://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2015/10/12/letter-education...

Maryland County Seeks to Reduce Time Spent Taking Standardized Exams
http://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/local/washington-co-school-officials...

Michigan Echoing State, Detroit Cuts Back on School Tests
http://bridgemi.com/2015/10/echoing-state-detroit-schools-cut-back-on-st...
Michigan In Teaching Versus Testing, Teaching Must Win Out
http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/10/09/teaching-vers...

New Jersey Ed. Dept. Tries to Preempt Negative Response to Long-Delayed PARCC Scores
http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/10/08/nj-education-department-gear...

New York Weight of Standardized Testing Is Absolutely Crushing
http://gothamist.com/2015/10/08/nyc_teacher_talks_class.php
New York High-Stakes Testing the Focus of Ire at Public Forum
http://www.westsenecabee.com/news/2015-10-08/Front_Page/Highstakes_testi...
New York Expectation of Conformity in Tested Learning Dooms Many Students
http://blog.timesunion.com/opinion/conformed-testing-dooms-students-2/33...

Oregon Test Results Distract From What Really Matters
http://pamplinmedia.com/nbg/143-opinion/275875-151931-tests-results-dist...

Pennsylvania Schools Are Not Failing, Government Is
http://www.dailyitem.com/opinion/schools-aren-t-failing-government-is/ar...

Rhode Island PARCC Test Hampers Students More Than It Helps
http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20151007/OPINION/151009548
Rhode Island New State Education Commission Open to Grad Test Options
http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20151007/NEWS/151009460

Texas Parents Protest Politically Motivated Test Difficulty Hike
http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Local-parents-protest-tou...
Texas Local Girl Opts Out Because Tests Stifle Creativity
http://www.12newsnow.com/story/30222360/beaumont-13-year-old-girl-opts-o...
Texas Prepare for Worst if State Loses "No Child" Waiver
http://www.chron.com/news/education/article/Williams-to-Texas-schools-Pr...

Utah Students Can Legally Opt Out of All But "Open Book" Civics Tests
http://fox13now.com/2015/10/09/utah-state-school-board-approves-policies...

National Current Approach to School Reform Cannot Work
http://blog.timesunion.com/opinion/a-failed-approach-to-u-s-education/33...
National What Arne Duncan Could Have Learned About Performance Assessment From Our Schools
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/prove-it-math-and-education-policy/2015...

ACT/SAT University of Massachusetts Lowell Goes Test Optional
http://www.universityherald.com/articles/24655/20151009/umass-lowell-ado...
ACT/SAT 850 Colleges and Universities Do Not Require Admissions Test Scores, Including Almost 200 Ranked in Top Tiers
http://fairtest.org/university/optional