Welcome to the November 2013 FairTest Examiner

FairTest News

FairTest Examiner, November 2013

Welcome to the new issue of the FairTest Examiner. This is an exciting time. Last spring saw the largest upsurge against standardized testing our country has ever experienced, and this year looks to be still greater. This issue includes a roundup of protests around the nation. Meanwhile, new colleges continue to join FairTest’s SAT/ACT-optional list, a website list that receives 280,000 visitors annually. We highlight six recent additions to the list.

Resistance to the overuse and misuse of tests is growing because students, parents and teachers are fed up and proclaiming, “Enough is enough!” and “Ya Basta!” Our article on “high-stakes horrors” focuses on some of the worst recent examples of the widespread damage. This fall’s SAT and ACT scores provide more evidence that test-driven “school reform” has failed, as do the books and articles we review in this issue.

We are improving our website, including a recent reorganization of our fact sheet pages to make them more accessible.  Visits to fairtest.org in October were up 49% over the same period last year, demonstrating the important role it plays in the national “resistance” movement. Look for other changes in the coming months. In addition, be sure to visit our very popular weekly summaries of testing reform news clips.

Board News

We thank departing board member Betty Rauch for years of productive work. She shared her deep knowledge of communications and worked diligently to ensure the success of our events honoring board member Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch. We are pleased she has promised to continue helping us.

Finally, we extend our congratulations to board member Ann Cook, of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, a network of public high schools that uses performance tasks rather than tests to determine graduation.  The Consortium won the Solution Driven Unionism prize from the American Federation of Teachers for this groundbreaking work.  We predict the Consortium will be an important model in the coming years for overhauling assessment.