Testing Resistance & Reform News: April 7 - 13, 2021

From organizing broad test opt-out campaigns to lobbying for the suspension of high-stakes consequences from test scores, students, parents, teachers and community leaders are forcing policy makes to admit that standardized exams administered this year to comply with politically motivated federal mandates will not be fair, valid or educationally sound.  The range of effective strategies and tactics employed by grassroots activists is impressive; the resulting assessment reform victories are crucial for children and educators. 

National Inconsistent Biden Administration Waiver Decisions Rankle State Officials
https://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2021-04-08/cardonas-decision-to-grant-dc-testing-waiver-rankles-education-officials

California Trying to Figure Out USDOE's Position on When Local Assessments Can Replace State Tests
https://edsource.org/2021/local-assessments-an-option-if-smarter-balanced-tests-not-viable-u-s-education-officials-affirm/652829

District of Columbia Feds Grant Local Schools Unique Comprehensive Testing Waiver
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/dc-standardized-tests-waiver/2021/04/07/bd4bc928-97f3-11eb-a6d0-13d207aadb78_story.html

Florida State Waives Graduation Test and Grade Promotion Exam Requirements
https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2021/04/09/under-new-executive-order-florida-high-school-seniors-3rd-graders-can-graduate-without-passing-state-assessments/

Florida District Leaders Say Test-Based School Grades Are Useless
https://www.tallahassee.com/story/opinion/2021/04/08/leon-county-schools-test-based-school-grades-useless-year/7122237002/

Georgia Test Scores Will Not Be Used to Penalize Schools This Year
https://www.wabe.org/ga-education-officials-say-test-scores-wont-be-used-to-penalize-schools-this-year/

Illinois Parents and Teachers Union Call for Test Boycott -- It's a "Waste of Time"
https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-covid-19-student-assessments-standardized-tests-20210409-cexdprz2znbwtcsdxxoyigb7ja-story.html

Massachusetts Students Lead Campaign to Promote Test Opt Outs
https://www.masslive.com/boston/2021/04/massachusetts-students-dont-have-to-take-mcas-and-some-are-arguing-they-shouldnt.html

Massachusetts State Testing Is a Distraction We Don't Need This Year
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/mcas-is-a-distraction-we-don-t-need-this-year/ar-BB1fjM1k

Michigan State Department of Ed. Slams Federal Denial of Testing Waiver Request
https://www.michiganadvance.com/2021/04/08/mde-leaders-slam-feds-for-denying-standardized-test-waiver/

Montana Education Leader Protests Federal Waiver Rejection
https://newstalkkgvo.com/opis-arntzen-denied-montanas-local-control-assessment-waiver/

New Jersey Public School Students Will Not Take State Tests Until Fall
https://newark.chalkbeat.org/2021/4/7/22372629/new-jersey-spring-tests-2021

New Jersey Webinar: The Consequences of Standardized Assessments
https://www.facebook.com/SaveOurSchoolsNJ/posts/4196320530401075

New York Parents Will Have to "Opt In" to Sign Children Up for This Spring's Standardized Tests
https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/ny-state-tests-opt-in-20210406-puy56uvmtrdobajit2h4lesfpm-story.html

North Carolina School Letter Grades Suspended But State Will Still Administer Exams
https://www.wunc.org/education/2021-04-07/nc-students-must-take-in-person-exams-but-school-letter-grades-are-waived

Oregon Feds Approve Waiver Request to Reduce Required Testing
https://www.opb.org/article/2021/04/07/oregon-schools-standardized-testing-plan/

Oregon State Should Make Tests "Opt In" Not Opt-Out This Year
https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2021/04/opinion-school-districts-should-make-standardized-tests-this-year-opt-in-not-opt-out.html

Tennessee In-Person Standardized Exams During COVID Fail Students, Parents and Educators
https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/2021/04/09/person-testing-shouldnt-required-tennessee/7140729002/

Tennessee Nashville Schools Likely to Seek State Testing Waiver Due to Low Participation Rate
https://patch.com/tennessee/nashville/nashville-schools-likely-request-waiver-tnready-tests

Tennessee Why and How to Refuse the Tests
https://saveourschoolspac.org/refuse-the-test/

Texas Computerized Testing System Collapses Statewide 
https://kfdm.com/news/local/technical-difficulties-force-cancellation-of-day-1-of-staar-testing-for-many-students
 
Texas Parents Question Tests' Worth As State Exams Begin
https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/carter-in-the-classroom/schools-begin-staar-testing-parents-question-tests-worth/2597485/

Washington State Pushes Back at Fed's Business-as-Usual Testing Demands
https://www.bigcountrynewsconnection.com/news/washington-states-application-to-reduce-standardized-testing-requirements-being-met-with-resistance/article_9af91682-98a7-11eb-a601-1315fc5c332e.html

University Admission Pandemic Upends College Admission; ACT/SAT-Optional Policies Are One "Silver Lining"
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-pandemic-has-upended-college-admissions-with-more-surprises-and-more-wait-lists/ar-BB1frT19?ocid=BingNewsSearch

University Admission Taking the SAT with a FairTest Expert
https://educationalendeavors.substack.com/p/taking-the-sat-with-the-breakout

University Admission Court Approves $16 Million Settlement in Disability Settlement Against ACT Testing Company
https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2021/04/13/judge-approves-16m-settlement-class-action-lawsuit-against-act

International British Teachers Vow to Replace "Toxic" Primary School Tests
https://www.tes.com/news/teachers-devise-alternative-toxic-sats

Worth Reading Pandemic Presents Opportunity to Rethink Standardized Testing
https://dianeravitch.net/2021/04/11/yong-zhao-and-william-mcdiarmid-time-to-rethink-standardized-testing/
 
Worth Reading How Test Publishers Are Poised to Profit From Pandemic "Learning Loss"
https://www.forbes.com/sites/akilbello/2021/04/07/how-test-publishers-are-poised-to-profit-from-pandemic-learning-loss/?sh=9929c3050c4b

Bob Schaeffer, Executive Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office-   (239) 395-6773    mobile-  (239) 699-0468
web-     https://fairtest.org
email-  bobschaeffer@fairtest.org