media guide

Resist the Tests 2016

Welcome! This page lists standardized test resistance, refusal and reform actions and events by state. These include opting out, public forums and meetings, rallies, news conferences, legislative action days, and more.

If you have an action or event to share, let us know at and we will post it here.

You can use the hashtags #resistthetests and #optout2016 to post your actions on Facebook and Twitter.

Organizing: Strategic Resources, Reports, Analyses

Organizing: Strategic Resources, Reports, Analyses 

This page includes FairTest discussions of testing reform organizing and links to supporting materials on high-stakes testing and authentic assessment.

10 Steps to Running a News Conference

(c) Robert Schaeffer, Public Policy Communications, 1988


I. Determine if topic is worth a news conference or if a news release is sufficient

A. Are you clear about goals, audience(s) and message?
B. Do you have a visual component for TV (e.g. backdrop,
graphics) and/or sound for radio?
C. Is there sufficient time to organize event coverage?
D. Does story gain credibility by bringing media together?
E. Can spokespeople handle question-and-answer format?

Influencing Editorials

"Without local activists pushing the media, it wou1d have been impossible to defeat exteemist attacks on thr environment in the guise of 'regulatory reform.' Grassroots efforts resulted in editorials in key Congressional Districts denouncing the Congressional rollbacks. Those editorials gave us powerful evidence in keeping 'Takings' legislation off the Senate floor in 1995." - Gary Bass, OMB Watch


How to do a News Interview

A successful effort on your part to interest a news organization in a story will almost always present you with the opportunity to provide someone for the reporter to interview. From the point of view of reporters and editors, your story suggestion or your news release are the starting points of the story. They advance the story by interviewing people involved, people who are experts, people who are responsible, people who benefit, or sometimes just people who have seen the events of the story as witnesses.

How to Write a Letter to the Editor

Editors of most newspapers make provision for the public to be heard through letters to the editorial columns.

How To Use The Media

by Rochelle Lefkowitz
and Bob Schaeffer

Media Strategy Chart: Advantages and Limitations

 Press Releases (News)  
  • Reaches wide circulation through print and electronic media
  • Free publicity
  • Press Coverage lends clout
  • Not good for a limited/small audience
  • May not be best place f
  • PR Strategy Criteria Checklist

    • Is it do-able?
      • Do you have enough time to do it in?
      • Does the staff already have the skills necessary to do it? (If not, will it take them long to acquire those skills, or can you find someone else to do it?)
      • Do you have the equipment/materials necessary for the project?
      • Are there any budgetary constraints?

    What is News?

    Experts agree that defining news can be a difficult task. Most journalists agree that the following eight elements make up what is considered "news."

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