New Reports, Articles and Fact Sheets

K-12 Testing

FairTest Examiner, May 2011

Over the past several months, FairTest has published new reports, articles and fact sheets covering a range of testing issues, including the “school to prison pipeline,” racial justice issues, the 2010 SAT and ACT score releases, implications for NCLB of slowing gains and widening gaps on NAEP and SAT tests, better ways to evaluate schools, and multiple measures. Summaries and links follow. To stay up-to-date on new FairTest materials, check “News” on our website on a regular basis.

FairTest and five other organizations issued Federal Policy, ESEA and the School to Prison Pipeline. This white paper looks at testing, school climate and 'zero tolerance' discipline policies as causes of the Pipeline, and makes recommendations on assessment, accountability, discipline and student re-entry to schools. Co-authored with Advancement Project, Education Law Center (PA), Forum for Education and Democracy, Juvenile Law Center (PA) and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Funding. See also FairTest’s fact sheet, How Testing Feeds the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

Racial Justice and Standardized Educational Testing
explores the damage caused by high-stakes testing and the value of authentic assessment for people of color. It includes a bibliography.

A detailed FairTest analysis of trends on the National Assessment of Educational Progress conclusively shows that the rate of improvement on NAEP has slowed or stagnated for most all groups in both reading and math and all grades tested since implementation of NCLB. This is another demonstration of the federal education law’s failure.

“A Better Way to Evaluate Schools”
outlines a 3-part school evaluation system – school quality reviews, limited standardized testing, plus school-based and local evidence. This is a summary version of longer pieces FairTest contributed to EducationWeek, the Washington Post Answer Sheet blog and others, all linked from this fact sheet.

Fact Sheet: Multiple Measures: A Definition and Examples from the U.S. and Other Nations
explains what multiple measures really are and how other nations use multiple sources of information to evaluate and improve schools and learning.

The movie Waiting for Superman presented dangerous distortions about public education, testing and more. Our fact sheet, The Real Facts About Waiting for Superman, written with Massachusetts Citizens for Public Schools, exposes the film’s misinformation. We handed this one out at movie theaters.

Poll on NCLB: Americans Want a Useful Overhaul of Education Policy", explaining the public’s concerns with federal and state high-stakes misuses of standardized tests, was published the March/April 2011 issue of Social Studies and the Young Learner.

That’s just a taste of the rich set of materials available at