Testing Resistance & Reform News: September 9 - 15, 2020

A major fight is shaping up pitting Trump Administration Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her inside-the-Beltway, stay-the-course testing allies against local school boards, teacher unions, and assessment reform activists around the issue of resuming high-stakes, mandatory standardized exams during the current school year.  Make no mistake about it: this is primarily a political and ideological controversy, not an educational one. Virtually no credible expert believes that test scores generated during a pandemic -- after most classroom learning was suspended for months -- have any validity. 

National DeVos Vows to Resume Standardized Exams, But Getting Meaningful Data Will Not Be Possible
https://news.yahoo.com/devos-vows-require-standardized-tests-114925798.html

District of Columbia Insider Explains History of School Test Cheating Scandals
https://nonpartisaneducation.org/Review/Testimonials/v16n3.htm

Georgia State Reduces Required Exams Toward Federal Minimum
https://allongeorgia.com/georgia-education-k12/georgia-moves-state-testing-requirements-to-the-federal-minimum/

Maryland Students to Take Standardized Tests Online at Home
https://www.wusa9.com/video/news/education/montgomery-county-students-to-take-standardized-tests-at-home/65-8196896e-d86f-472b-8c2c-f016cba000ed

Ohio Lawmakers Work to Lift School Testing Requirements
https://www.the-review.com/story/news/2020/09/08/ohio-lawmakers-push-lift-school-testing-requirements/5737949002/

Tennessee School Board Seeks Extension of State Exam Moratorium
https://www.t-g.com/story/2834747.html

Texas School Privatizers Emphasize Standardized Testing as Part of Expansion Agenda
https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2020-09-11/public-notice-which-camp-are-you-in/

Virginia State Ed Secretary Argues for Changing Rules for Selective High School Admission
https://bluevirginia.us/2020/09/audio-va-secretary-of-education-atif-qarni-argues-for-changes-in-admissions-to-governors-schools-to-increase-diversity-says-it-will-only-make-these-schools-better

Wisconsin DeVos Plan for High-Stakes Exams in 2020-2021 Will Hurt Schools
https://madison.com/ct/opinion/column/jill-underly-devos-testing-plan-will-hurt-public-schools-amid-a-pandemic/article_4548e820-e5c3-5546-ad1b-b24808f9699d.html

University Admissions More Than Two-Thirds of Colleges, University Are ACT/SAT Optional or Blind for Fall 2021 Admission
https://www.fairtest.org/two-thirds-of-us-colleges-and-universities-are-test-optional

University Admissions Counselors and Allies Press University of Florida System Governors to End Testing Requirement Holdout
https://www.bakersfield.com/ap/national/florida-universities-under-pressure-to-drop-act-and-sat-scores-in-admission-decisions/article_7f61a6fe-d4ac-53b5-b086-3cd186313c73.html

University Admission Pandemic Sees Increase in Test-Blind Policies
https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2020/09/14/pandemic-has-seen-rise-test-blind-admissions

International Algeria Blocks Internet Access Nationwide in Order to Secure Online Standardized Test
https://north-africa.com/2020/09/the-algerian-regime-does-it-again-it-blocks-internet-access-for-the-whole-country-to-secure-a-pointless-high-school-exam/

Worth Reading Learning the Wrong Lessons About Education Reform 
https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2020/08/learning-the-wrong-lesson-about-education-reform/

Worth Reading Trump Administration Hates COVID-19 Testing, Loves School Standardized Tests
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/08/why-does-trump-hate-covid-testing-love-standardized-testing

Bob Schaeffer, interim Executive Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office-  (239) 395-6773    mobile-  (239) 699-0468
web-  http://www.fairtest.org