Harry Feder Becomes New FairTest Executive Director


Harry Feder, a public-school teacher and attorney who is an expert in performance
assessment, is the new Executive Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing
(FairTest). Feder previously taught history at the Beacon School in New York City, a member
of the New York State Performance Assessment Consortium for which he also did legal work.
He was a Visiting Scholar at Teachers College, Columbia University researching the interplay
between high schools and citizenship and an Adjunct Professor of Social Studies Teaching at
Brooklyn College. In his role as Board Chair of the Coalition of Essential Schools he gained a
national perspective on examples and systems of education not based on standardized tests.
He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York University Law School.

Feder replaces Bob Schaeffer, who served as FairTest’s Executive Director for the past three
years. Schaeffer will resume his prior position as the organization’s Public Education Director.
Other continuing FairTest staff include admissions testing expert Akil Bello and assessment
reform leader Ilana Spiegel, who is also a member of the Colorado Board of Regents.

Feder explained his plans for FairTest, “We will begin by completing the overhaul of our
popular website, fairtest.org, to make it even more useful for educators, parents, students,
policy makers and journalists. Picking up on the momentum of the test-optional movement in
college admissions, we will increase our emphasis on promoting educational equity and
academic quality by replacing biased, reductionist, and systemically corrosive standardized
tests with performance-based assessment and multiple measures of student achievement.
That includes developing model reform policies, supporting practitioner efforts, and more
actively engaging in the public debate. Of course, FairTest will continue publishing the
definitive lists of ACT/SAT-optional and test-blind/score-free colleges and universities.”

The new FairTest Executive Director added, “Standardized tests continue to be misused at all
levels of education. They pose barriers to equity, opportunity and excellence for our citizenry
and workforce. FairTest will continue to fight against those barriers at the same time it
supports development and implementation of superior forms of educational assessment.”
Founded in 1985, FairTest leads campaigns for assessment reforms, such as test-optional
college admissions, and promotes performance assessments. It also opposes reliance on
standardized exams to make high-stakes educational decisions. As part of the transition,
FairTest’s administrative offices will be moving to New York City this fall.