Assessment Reform News: January 2023

More cracks in the wall of political support for high-stakes, standardized test driven education with assessment reform initiatives advancing across the country often with FairTest and our allies in the lead.

As legislatures convene for their 2023 sessions, many states will be considering proposals to roll back high-stakes standardized exam misuses and advance better forms of assessment.  If you support testing reform, now is the time to weigh-in with your elected representatives and news media.

National Only Eight States Require Grad. Test Passage for 2023 High School Diplomas
https://fairtest.org/8093-2/
The “Learning Loss” Trap https://rethinkingschools.org/articles/the-learning-loss-trap/

States Have Soured on High School Exit Exams: Here’s Why
https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/states-have-soured-on-the-high-school-exit-exam-heres-why/2023/01
National What to Know About Opting Out of Standardized Tests
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/careers/opting-out-of-standardized-testing-what-to-know/ar-AA16UyUK

Alaska Schools Struggle to Comply with New Third Grade Reading Test Retention Law
https://alaskapublic.org/2023/01/12/petersburg-schools-scramble-to-pay-for-new-alaska-reads-act-requirements/

Stop Over-Testing and Under-Funding Public Schools
https://www.adn.com/opinions/2023/01/06/opinion-stop-over-testing-and-underfunding-alaskas-schools/

Alabama District Eliminates Tests Not Required by Feds or State
https://sports.yahoo.com/decatur-city-schools-reducing-common-134300243.html

Arizona 
Ideological Accountability: State Ed. Sec. Wants Schools’ Grades Lowered if They Teach Critical Race Theory
https://news.yahoo.com/teaching-penalty-tom-horne-wants-130051399.html
New Governor Proposed End to State Education Funding Based on Test Scores
https://www.abc15.com/news/state/governor-katie-hobbs-proposes-change-to-results-based-school-funding

Arkansas Lottery Scholarship Awards Increasingly Go to White Students from Affluent Families Due to Test Score Cutoff
https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2023/01/12/arkansas-lottery-scholarship-increasingly-going-to-white-students-from-families-with-means
California 
To Improve English-Learners’ School Outcomes, Change How We Assess Reading
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/story/2023-01-13/english-learners-bilingual

Colorado 
Why Legislators Want to Repeal Social Studies Testing Mandate
https://coloradosun.com/2023/01/27/social-studies-standardize-testing-colorado/

Florida Test-Based Achievement Mirage
https://radicalscholarship.com/2023/01/12/test-based-achievement-mirages-florida-edition/
Florida High School Graduation Rate Drops as Exit Exam Requirement Re-established Post-COVID
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/florida-high-school-graduation-rate-drops-as-test-rules-returns/ar-AA16k3oP
Assessment “Overhaul” Means More Tests, Same High Stakes
https://news.yahoo.com/florida-students-testing-more-first-100427862.html
Florida Legislative Report Analyzes Real Causes of Eighth Grade Score Plunge
https://billytownsend.substack.com/p/the-study-that-knew-too-much-about

State’s Education System Is Vastly Under-performing According to NAEP
https://www.tampabay.com/opinion/2023/01/05/floridas-education-system-is-vastly-underperforming-column/
Controversy Over Whether School Discouraged Likely Low Scorers From Taking State Tests
https://www.tampabay.com/news/education/2023/01/24/hillsborough-schools-testing-addison-davis-superintendent-investigation/

llinois Activists Push for Overhaul of State Assessment System
https://www.wbez.org/stories/the-standardized-test-for-students-in-illinois-gets-low-marks-will-the-state-meet-a-2025-deadline-to-fix-it/9829c630-5538-4bc1-8825-2f6b6e903591Illinois Chicago Schools to Rely on Grades, Not Standardized Exam Scores, to Determine Promotion
https://chicago.suntimes.com/education/2023/1/25/23571935/cps-consider-science-social-studies-marks-instead-of-standardized-tests-advancing-next-grade


Indiana 
New Education Dashboard Shows Multiple Measures of Student Performance, Not Just Exam Scores
https://dailyjournal.net/2023/01/05/new-indiana-education-dashboard-offers-look-at-student-performance/

Louisiana There’s More to Education Than Test Scores
https://www.nola.com/opinions/letters/letters-more-to-education-than-school-test-scores/article_822db604-9205-11ed-a6d2-a3d74e11c870.html

Massachusetts 
State Testing Requirements Getting Fresh Look in Changing Landscape
https://www.wbur.org/news/2023/01/10/mcas-standardized-testing-education-advocates-high-school-requirement
Massachusetts Get Ready for Another Round of Debate About Standardized Exams
https://www.masslive.com/opinion/2023/01/get-ready-for-a-new-round-of-mcas-debate-editorial.html

English Learners Forced to Take Selective School Admissions Test in English
https://schoolyardnews.com/bps-officials-wont-let-students-take-the-map-growth-test-in-spanish-for-exam-school-admissions-5035ee039b64

Families Explore Alternatives to State Testing System
https://www.abc6.com/massachusetts-families-explore-alternatives-of-mcas/

Michigan New Legislature Looks to Change Third Grade Retention, School Grading Laws
https://www.theoaklandpress.com/2023/01/15/new-legislature-will-look-to-change-education-laws/
Proposal Would End Third-Grade Reading Test Promotion Hurdle
https://www.wilx.com/2023/01/20/proposal-would-allow-michigan-kids-pass-despite-reading-scores/

New Jersey Newark Changes Test Used for Selective High School Admission
https://newark.chalkbeat.org/2023/1/11/23549240/newark-nj-new-high-school-entrance-exam-stanford-achievement-test



New York 
Commission Mulls Future of State’s High School Graduation Testing Requirement
https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2023/1/4/23539626/ny-regents-exams-graduation-requirements-high-school-diploma-state-education-commission
Graduation Rate for English Learners Surged When State Exit Exam Was Suspended
https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2023/1/19/23562593/ny-english-language-learners-regents-exams-graduation-rate-immigrant-students
School Leaders Support Eliminating State Test Scores From Student Grades
https://riverheadlocal.com/2023/01/12/dorr-healy-push-for-permanent-do-no-harm-policy-for-regents-exams-urge-eliminating-test-score-from-calculation-of-final-course-grade/


Ohio
 Friends of Public Education Supports End to Holding Kids Back Due to Reading Test Scores
https://www.neofpe.org/hb-497
Ohio Tests Are Incomplete, Unreliable Metric to Measure Effectiveness of Urban Schools
https://www.cleveland.com/opinion/2023/01/clevelands-promise-series-uses-observation-not-tests-to-define-schools-susan-kaeser.html

Tennessee New Bill Would Shift Control of Third-Grade Retention From State Test to District Judgements
https://www.wkrn.com/news/tennessee-politics/new-bill-wants-to-shift-control-of-third-grade-retention-back-to-local-school-districts

School Leaders Criticize Third Grade Test-Based Retention Law
https://www.wjhl.com/news/local/school-officials-share-concerns-on-3rd-grade-retention-law/
Tennessee Third Grade Retention Requirement Facing Broad Push Back
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/tennessee-third-grade-retention-law-facing-push-back-from-local-school-districts/ar-AA16kJwt

Parents Seek Overhaul of Third Grade Test Retention Law
https://www.timesnews.net/news/education/parents-seek-amendment-of-third-grade-reading-level-law/article_bb6c1d32-8b9a-11ed-830f-57f315b60236.html
Tennessee Third Grade Reading Promotion Law is Misguided
https://tennesseelookout.com/2023/01/09/tennessees-third-grade-reading-assessment-law-is-misguided/

Testing Industry — For-Profit Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt Acquires NWEA Assessment Nonprofit to Integrate Tests with Curriculum (and Profits)
https://marketbrief.edweek.org/marketplace-k-12/houghton-mifflin-harcourt-acquires-assessment-provider-nwea-education-mega-deal/



Texas 
Testing and Accountability System Overhaul Among Key Issues for Upcoming Legislative Session
https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/crossroads-lab/article270552177.html

Redesigned State Tests Raise Concern Among Educators
https://www.chron.com/news/local/article/TEA-s-redesigned-STAAR-test-raises-questions-17680025.php
 Bill Filed to Replace Current State Test
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/texas-lawmakers-may-eliminate-staar-testing/ar-AA16JGr5


International 
Major China’s Test-Prep Firm Re-positions After Govt. Crackdown on For-Profit Tutoring
https://www.scmp.com/tech/policy/article/3205867/chinas-best-known-test-prep-school-hopes-find-new-life-live-streaming-e-commerce-after-crackdown

Why It Is Hard to Compare Student Performance Between U.S. and Other Nations
https://www.dailyrepublic.com/all-dr-news/opinion/local-opinion-columnists/eye-on-education-its-difficult-to-compare-american-international-students/

Big Picture Learning Company’s Alternative Assessment Global Credential
https://marketscale.com/industries/education-technology/delivering-an-alternative-to-standardized-tests/


University Admissions 
What Going ACT/SAT-Optional Means for High School Students
https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/a-college-admissions-expert-explains-what-going-test-optional-means-for-high-school-seniors/2023/01 
University Admissions U.S. News Tweaks Ranking Formula in Effort to Quell Law School Drop-Out Revolt
https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2023/01/03/us-news-changes-law-school-rankings

NCAA Division I Moves to Eliminate ACT/SAT Requirement for Student Athletic Eligibility
https://www.athleticbusiness.com/operations/governing-bodies/article/15305436/di-council-modernizes-coaching-limit-rules-eliminates-test-score-requirements

Harvard Medical School Opts Out of U.S. News Rankings Joining Leading Law Schools
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/careersandeducation/the-downfall-of-higher-education-rankings/ar-AA16urni

University Admissions Removing MCAT Requirement Could Improve Physician Diversity 
https://www.newsweek.com/removing-mcat-could-improve-diversity-medicine-opinion-1775471
ACT and SAT Are Less Important Than Many Think 
https://news.yahoo.com/sat-act-less-important-might-132402497.html
University Admissions Major Medical Schools “Revolt” Against U.S. News Rankings
https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2023/01/24/medical-schools-revolt-us-news-rankings/

Virginia Proposal Would Require High School Students to Pass Citizenship Test to Graduate
https://www.wric.com/news/politics/capitol-connection/proposal-would-require-virginia-students-to-pass-citizenship-test-to-graduate/

Worth Reading Testing and the War on Teachers
https://answerkeysurvivalguide.blogspot.com/2022/12/the-war-on-teachers-part-two-working.html

What Motivates Students to Learn — Not a Single Favorable Word About Standardized Tests
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/19/learning/what-students-are-saying-about-what-motivates-them-to-learn.html
Pandemic-Era Exam Score Shifts May Increase Inequality in Test-Based Gifted Program Selection
https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/commentary/typical-gifted-program-likely-become-even-less-equitable

Please Stop Talking About So-Called “Learning Loss”
https://hechingerreport.org/opinion-can-we-please-stop-talking-about-so-called-learning-loss/ 
Worth Reading Is “Summer Learning Loss” Real, and Is It Greater for Low-Income Students?
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2023/01/30/is-summer-learning-loss-real-and-does-it-widen-test-score-gaps-by-family-income/
Worth Reading Testing Industry Mergers Increase Taxpayer Cost for Inferior Products
https://gadflyonthewallblog.com/2023/01/26/a-private-equity-firm-the-makers-of-the-map-test-and-an-ed-tech-publisher-join-forces/

Wyoming State Senate Advances Bill to Require All High School Students to Pass Citizenship Test
https://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/news/2023-01-20/senate-committee-advances-bill-requiring-all-wyoming-high-school-students-to-pass-citizenship-test