The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) advances quality education and equal opportunity by promoting fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial evaluations of students, teachers and schools. FairTest also works to end the misuses and flaws of testing practices that impede those goals.
Principles that guide FairTest’s work:
Assessments should be fair and valid. They should provide equal opportunity to measure what students know and can do, without bias against individuals on the bases of race, ethnicity, gender, income level, learning style, disability, or limited English proficiency status.
Assessments should be open.The public should have greater access to tests and testing data, including evidence of validity and reliability. Where assessments have significant consequences, tests and test results should be open to parents, educators and students.
Tests should be used appropriately. Safeguards must be established to ensure that standardized test scores are not the sole criterion by which major educational decisions are made and that curricula are not driven by standardized testing.
Evaluation of students and schools should consist of multiple types of assessment conducted over time. No one measure can or should define a person’s knowledge, worth or academic achievement, nor can it provide for an adequate evaluation of an institution.
Alternative assessments should be used. Methods of evaluation that fairly and accurately diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of students and programs need to be designed and implemented with sufficient professional development for educators to use them well.
FairTest engages in the following activities:
Education of the public. FairTest serves as a unique source of information about testing and alternatives for educators, parents, public officials, journalists and policymakers.
Advocacy. FairTest coordinates and catalyzes educators, citizen groups and parents to bring about needed assessment reforms.
Strategic Assistance. FairTest provides training and advice to parents, educators and a broad range of civil rights organizations about assessment reform.