Bob Schaeffer’s Weekly Roundup of News on Testing Mania

This is entirely from Bob Schaeffer:


With public schools closing for the summer, many states are reviewing their 2015-2016 testing experience (once again, not a pretty picture) and planning to implement assessment reforms in coming years.  You can help stop the U.S. Department of Education from promoting testing misuse and overuse by weighing in on proposed Every Student Succeeds Act regulations.

National  Act Now to Stop Federal Regulations That Reimpose Failed No Child Left Behind Test-and-Punish Policies

State Preps for Implementing New Federal Education Law

Teacher Evaluations Could Be Less Focused on Test scores

Legal Fight Looms Over Third Grade Retention Based on Test Participation
Florida Parents Pressure School Board on Test-Use Policies

School Chief Addresses Testing Meltdown

Panel Unclear on Vision for New Assessments

State Testing Time Will Be Reduced

Feds Respond to State’s Accountability Plan Concerns

State Commission Passes Buck to Reduce Testing to Schools
Maryland Students Say Too Much Testing

Schools to Help Map Assessments of the Future

Missouri Schools Are More Than Test Scores

New York
Test Flexibility for Students with Learning Disabilities is Step in Right Direction
New York Families Fight Back Against Opt-Out Punishments

State Eases Some Test Score Cut Offs

Legislature Ends Exit Exam Graduation Requirement

State Comptroller Finds Computer Testing Problems Widespread
Tennessee Testing Is “In a Transition Phase”

Scrapped STAAR Scores Add to Standardized Testing Frustration
Texas Legislator Says State Should Not Pay for Flawed Tests
Texas Study Panel Not Yet Ready to Ditch State Standardized Exams

State Residents Give Failing Grade to Common Core Standardized Testing

Wisconsin Test Changes Render Year-to-Year Comparisons Useless

Nine Out of Ten British Teachers Say Test Prep Focus Hurts Students’ Mental Health

University Admission If High School GPA Is Best Predictor of College Outcomes, Why Do Schools Cling to ACT/SAT

Worth Reading
Opt-Out Movement Reflects Genuine Concerns of Parents
Worth Reading Study Finds More Testing, Less Play in Kindergarten
Worth Reading Test Scores Are Poor Predictors of Life Outcomes

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office-   (239) 395-6773   fax-  (239) 395-6779
mobile- (239) 699-0468

Weekly Roundup of Educational Resistance by Bob Schaeffer

{As usual, this list is collected and distributed by Bob Schaeffer, not by me.}

The U.S. Senate has joined the House of Representatives in responding to growing, grassroots pressure by voting to overhaul “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB). The bills passed by both the Senate and House reflect widespread rejection of failed top-down, test-and-punish strategies as well as the “NCLB on steroids” waiver regime dictated by Arne Duncan. While neither version is close to perfect from an assessment reform perspective, each makes significant progress by rolling back federally mandated high-stakes, eliminating requirements to evaluate educators based on student test scores, and recognizing opt-out rights. FairTest and its allies will closely monitor the conference committee working on compromise language to make sure the gains remain in the final bill sent to President Obama — the alternative is to keep the yoke of NCLB-and-waivers in place for at least two more years, if not much longer. Meanwhile, organizers in many states are keeping the spotlight on the problems of test overuse and misuse, modeling better practices and winning additional policy victories.

Remember that back issues of these weekly updates are archived at:

National End High-Stakes Testing to Help Fix Public Education: Key Civil Rights Leader
National U.S. Senate Rejects Proposal to Give Federal Government More Say in Identifying “Failing” Schools
National Both House and Senate NCLB Overhaul Bills Allow for Penalty-Free Test Opt Out
National “Race to the Top:” Lofty Promises and Top-Down Regulation Brought Few Good Changes to America’s Schools

Exit Exam on Way Out

Two Small Districts Set Opt Out Records

Opposition Coalesces Against Smarter Balanced Tests

Governor Vetoes Opt-Out Bill; State PTA Pushed for Override Vote

More than 10,000 Young People Who Did Not Pass Grad. Test Recently Received Diplomas

Hawaii Teachers Fight Evaluations Based on Student Test Scores

Why Common Core Tests Are Harmful to Students

Third-Grade Promotion Test Pushes Reading Down Into Kindergarten

Fight to Make Charter School Disclose What Test It Uses for Kindergarten Entry

Test Cuts Came After Thorough Debate

Exam Scores Don’t Tell Full Story of Teacher Preparedness

Time Allocated to New State Tests Cut in Half

Nevada After Testing System Breakdown, State to Hire New Assessment Vendor

New Hampshire Schools Can Replace Smarter Balanced Tests with ACT or SAT

New Jersey
Be Wary of New State Teacher Ratings

New Mexico
Court Rejects Suit Seeking to Strip Pearson’s Common Core Testing Contract

New York
High School Models Authentic Assessment
New York Opt Out Movement Plans to Ratchet Up Actions Against Standardized Exam Overkill
New York Pending NCLB Overhaul Offers Hope to Reduce State’s Testing Obsession

North Carolina State’s Largest District Cuts Back Local Test Mandates
North Carolina Cautions About Test-Score-Based Teacher Pay

Students Can Meet Graduation Requirement with Work Samples in Their Home Language

Questions Mount About Using Volatile Test Results to Evaluate Teachers and Schools
Pennsylvania Teachers to School Board: Standardized Testing is Harming Students

Rhode Island
What Tests Like PARCC Do Not Measure

Teachers School Governor on Testing and Evaluations
Tennessee Local School Board to Take Up Opt Out Resolution

New Test Leading Fewer to Get GEDs

Washington State Testing Revolt Pushes State Into Uncharted Waters
Washington Over-Testing is a Flawed Strategy

“How Many Tests Can a Child Withstand?” — with apologies to Bob Dylan

The Beatings in Education Will Continue Until Morale Improves

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office-   (239) 395-6773   fax-  (239) 395-6779
mobile- (239) 699-0468

Bob Schaeffer’s Weekly Roundup of Actions Against the Testing Juggernaut

Demonstrating another surge of support for assessment reform as the Spring 2015 testing season nears, this week’s stories about the movement against standardized exam overuse and misuse come from more than 40% of the 50 states. The news is reinforced by several excellent analytic pieces and opinion columns (back issues of these weekly updates are archived at:

In addition to keeping the heat on state and local policy-makers, now is the time to let your U.S. Senators and Representative know you support a significant reduction in federal testing mandates, an end to test-based consequences for students, teachers or schools and more funding for better forms of assessment. Please make those calls and send your emails today!

Recommendations for Overhauling “No Child Left Behind” From Forum on Educational Accountability
Teacher Tells Congress: Federal Testing Mandates Are Wrong
Lawmakers Propose End to Annual Standardized Exam Requirement
Listen to What Senator Whitehouse Said About Education Policy

Arizona Schools’ Chief Wants New Assessment Ditched

Standardized Testing Fixation is Destroying Education in California and Across U.S.
Experts Say New Common Core Tests Not Ready to Grade California Schools

Colorado Lawmakers Continue Introducing Bills to Limit Testing

Five Florida Counties Sponsor Legislation Allowing Them to Opt Out of State Tests

Louisiana School Expects Flood of Test Refusals

No Maine Law Requires Students to Take a Test
New Maine Tests Raises School Board Concerns; Some May Ask to Opt Out

Are Maryland Schools Giving Too Many Tests

“We Are More Than Numbers” — Massachusetts Students’ Video on Testing

Michigan Parents Upset By Schools’ Test Opt-Out Policy

New Jersey Parents and Voters Want Kids Tested Less: New Poll
Early Results of New Jersey PARCC Testing: Widespread Misery
New Jersey Commission Calls for Cutback in Time Spent on Testing

Computer Crashes Mar New Mexico PARCC Test Trial Run

Long Island, New York Teacher Refuses to Administer Common Core Test, Superintendent Backs Her
Why Parents Are Refusing New York’s Common Core Tests
New York Governor Cuomo “Obsessed” With Testing Teachers
Open Letter to NY Gov. Cuomo: My Child Is Not a Test Score

More Tests Won’t Fix North Carolina Schools
The Flaw in North Carolina’s School Performance Grades

Some Ohio Students Opt Out of State Tests

Oklahoma High-Stakes Exam Opponents Look to Legislative Session to Cut Testing Overkill

Bill Would Expand Oregon Parents’ Right to Excuse Kids From Standardized Tests

Many Students at Pennsylvania School Plan to Opt Out of Tests
Parents Back Teachers Who Explain Pennsylvania Opt-Out Process

Many Testing and Accountability Bills in 2015 Texas Legislative Hopper

Students, Activists Support Utah Teacher Fired for Refusing to Administer Test

Tacoma, Washington Parents Join Movement to Opt Kids Out of Standardized Testing

High-Poverty Wisconsin Schools More Likely to Be Labeled “Failing”

A Failing Grade for Test-Based School Report Cards

16 States Plus D.C. Require Third-Grade Retention Based on  Test Scores

The Past, Present and Future of High-Stakes Testing

U.S. Addiction to Testing is Ripping the Humanity Out of Education

Teachers Need Tests. . . Just Not Just Those Ones

Why Everybody Hates Pearson

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office-   (239) 395-6773   fax-  (239) 395-6779
mobile- (239) 699-0468


My apologies for not keeping up with this.

Bob Schaeffer’s Weekly Roundup of Resistance to the Billionaires’ Educational League of Charlatans & Hucksters

I’ve been remiss on not posting Bob Schaeffer’s lists. We public school teachers, parents and students should remember that not all is lost. When enough folks fight back, we will win.

Here’s this week’s list from FairTest:

With Common Core pilot-tests looming on the horizon, calls for a moratorium on the new assessments and a reduction in test volume, not another round of increases, are intensifying.

Common Core Assessments: The Next Phase of High-Stakes Testing


Advocates Press Gov. Cuomo for Common Core Testing Moratorium


Fact Sheet: Why a Common Core Moratorium is Necessary


Massive Field-Testing Makes Thousands of Children Unpaid Common Core Guinea Pigs,0,5307497,full.story


Maryland Schools Need $100 Million Computer Upgrades to Administer New Common Core Exams,0,6187986.story

Bill Seeks Suspension of 2014 Maryland State Tests,0,5292378.story

Montgomery Super: Common Core Test Scores Should Not be Used to Judge Teachers


Virginia Republican State Legislators Join Democratic Governor and Public Majority to Support Testing Rollback

Suburban Richmond School Board Considers Assessment Reform Resolution

Virginia Poll Finds Growing Voter Concern About Impact of Standardized Exam Overkill

Florida Facing Challenge Over Student Testing

Super Allows Idaho Schools to Opt Out of Some Common Core Field Tests

Louisiana Schools Need Millions More for Common Core Testing Computer Upgrades

Philadelphia Test-Cheating Scandal May Be Nation’s Largest

Minnesota Kindergarten: Too Many Tests; No Time to Play

Coloradans Say “No” to High-Stakes Testing with Highway Billboard

More Parents Resist Standardized Tests

New York Could Lead National Away From School Testing Fixation

Former Charter School Teacher Reveals Program’s Test-Prep Fixation

Take This Test (Please)

Diane Ravitch Faults Culture of Tests

The Beginning of an End to Sanction-Driven Education?

NCLB 12th Anniversary: Lake Wobegon is Finally Here

Education Bills Languish in Congress

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office-   (239) 395-6773   fax  (239) 395-6779
mobile- (239) 699-0468


Published in: on January 21, 2014 at 7:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Weekly education resistance news roundup from FaiTest

From Bob Schaeffer:

With schools open across the nation, opposition to the planned Common Core Assessments is surging. As protests spread, more commentators are taking note of the disconnect between the growing resistance to standardized exam overkill among parents, teachers and community leaders and the stubborn support of failed testing policies by public officials.

Remember that back issues or these weekly updates are available at:

Common Core Assessment Myths — New FairTest Fact Sheet
States Worried About Common Core Tests
Most School Districts Cannot Handle Common Core Technology Demands
Why a Common Core Standards Proponent Opposes the Common Core Tests

A Test for New York Mayoral Candidates
Stop and Frisk These Test Scores
New Yorkers Organize “Send Back the Scores” Protest Event

More Georgia Parents Eager to Opt-Out of State Tests

Illinois District Super Says Cut-Score Increase will “Push Students Off Cliff”

Back to School for Providence Student Activists

North Carolina Parents, Teachers Seek Testing Moratorium

Failed Tennessee Testing Model Perpetuates Educational Injustice

The Flaws of Politicians’ School Grading Schemes

Huge Disconnect Between Public and Policymakers on Education

Five Bad Education Assumptions the Media Keeps Recycling

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office- (239) 395-6773 fax- (239) 395-6779
mobile- (239) 699-0468

Published in: on September 6, 2013 at 8:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Another Weekly Roundup of News on the Movement Against Testing Mania

This is from Bob Schaeffer at FairTest, as usual:


How much more evidence do policy makers need before they recognize that test-and-punish policies have failed? Learning gains have stagnated, progress toward closing the “achievement gap” has stalled, and their constituents increasingly reject the strategy. Even some of their strongest newspaper editorial page allies — including the New York Times and Los Angeles Times — are saying that it is time to look at alternative approaches.  Enough is enough!

Major National Survey Finds Parents Strongly Oppose Standardized Testing Misuse and Overuse

Standardized Tests Take Over the School Day

High-Stakes Testing Leads to Increased Incarceration
See FairTest Infographic “How High-Stakes Testing Feeds the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Support for Common Core Testing Declines Dramatically
see FairTest fact sheet: Common Core Assessments: More Tests But Not Much Better

ACLU Sues Rhode Island Over Grad Test Requirement

Florida School Grading System a “Politically Manipulated Scam”
Convoluted School Grading System Fails. Yet Jeb Bush’s Disciples Are Pushing It in Other States

Erase to the Top: Tainted Philadelphia Scores Demonstrate Flaws of Test-Driven School “Reform”

Widespread Test Cheating at New Orleans Charters and “Reconstruction” Schools

Oklahoma (and Indiana) Seek Test-Company Penalties for Exam Screw-ups

Why Are Texas Test-Takers Being Held More Accountable Than Test-Makers 

Standardized Testing’s Casualties — another excellent Letter to the Editor,0,6581072.story

Minnesota Plans K-12 Testing “Without the Tears and Trauma”

Focus on Test Scores Misses the Point on Urban Education

State Testing Makes Kids Hate School

Students Tell Policy-Makers: Stop Corporate Ed “Reform” and High-Stakes Testing

Key School “Reform” Questions Beg for Answers

Five Basic Lessons on Public Education

New Books on Assessment Reform
“The Mismeasure of Education” —
“Left Behind in the Race to the Top” —

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
ph- (239) 395-6773  fax- (239) 395-6779
cell- (239) 699-0468

Bob Schaeffer’s Weekly Roundup of News on Resistance to Corporate EduTesting

Bob Schaeffer of FairTest has been compiling weekly summaries of news articles showing how folks all across the country are resisting the corporate agenda of test, test, test. Here is his latest one:


The pushback against high-stakes testing continues to accelerate with more parents, teachers, students, administrators, and educational policy makers recognizing that the current approach has failed and an increased focus on the looming danger from Common Core assessments.

Virginia Supers Worry That School Grades Will Primarily Measure Student Poverty

Editorial: New Florida School Grading Standards Are a Set-up for Failure

Students, Parents and Teachers Consider Appealing Delayed NYC Test Scores

NY State Senator: Instill Lifelong Learning, Not Test-Taking in Students

Testing Has Reached Its Limits For Some Minnesota Parents

Oklahoma Teachers Ask State to Invalidate All 2013 Test Scores

How Pizza Helped Garfield High Teachers Resist Standardized Testing Overkill

Students Who Take Tougher Grad Tests Are More Likely to End Up in Jail

The Trouble with Common Core

The Common Core Testing Nightmare That Awaits Us

Will Common Core Assessment Focus Derail College and Career Readiness

Oklahoma Pulls Out of Common Core Testing Consortium: Cites Volume of New Assessments

Union Worried Testing Will Cause More to Turn Against Common Core

Common Core Assessment Consortium to Delay Some New Tests By a Year

See FairTest Common Core Assessment Fact Sheet

Time for Education “Reform” Reset

Connection Between Test Scores and College Performance is Tenuous
See FairTest’s List of More than 800 ACT/SAT Optional Schools

The Perils of Standardized Testing: Six Ways it Harms Learning

Test-Driven System Stifles Creativity Says Survey of U.S. Parents and Teachers

Careful What You Want and How You Measure Getting It

Defining Students, Teachers and Schools By a Number Does Not Improve Learning

The Revolution Will Not Be Standardized

Finland’s Education Ambassador Spreads the Word About a Better Alternative

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
ph- (239) 395-6773  fax- (239) 395-6779
cell- (239) 699-0468

Weekly Round-Up of Ed-related News from FairTest

Here is yet another list of news items about resistance to the Global Educational Deformation Movement, from Bob Schaeffer of FairTest.

NC State Super: Testing Craze Wastes Taxpayer Dollars

Top-Down Testing Programs Send Wrong Message to Students and Teachers

Pressure Builds for Texas Test System Overhaul

The Gap Between Education Research and Testing Policy
FairTest Fact Sheet: Why Teacher Evaluation Shouldn’t Rest on Student Test Scores

Hearts and Souls of American Teachers  — A School Board Leader Speaks Out

4,000 Rhode Island Teachers Sign Petition Against New Evaluation System

South Carolina Teachers Criticize Test-Based Grading Plan

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
ph-   (239) 395-6773    fax-  (239) 395-6779
cell-  (239) 699-0468

Schaeffer also makes a pitch for donations:

If you find these news summaries helpful, please consider making a year-end gift to FairTest so we can continue this important work.  All donations are completely tax-deductible.

To contribute, simply click on or mail your check to FairTest, P.O. Box 300204, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Published in: on December 27, 2012 at 11:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Roundup of Articles on Real Education Reform

   – this is by Bob Schaeffer of Fair Test

With the 2012 election now history, we can return to the hard work of making politicians see the light about the need for real assessment reform.

FairTest offers several new columns and fact sheets as resources for that ongoing campaign along with links to a number of good pieces by our allies

Why So Many People Are Saying “Enough is Enough” to High-Stakes Testing

Better Alternatives to Standardized Testing

A Better Way to Evaluate Teachers,0,650639.story

High-Stakes Testing Promoter Booted as Indiana Super; Replaced by Teacher

An Open Letter to President Obama

Another Educator Calls on Obama to Change Course

Parents Complain About Too Much Testing to Oklahoma Super, Who Agrees

Common Core Tests = More Taxpayer $$$  — this is a national issue (see FairTest fact sheet at:

Closing the Achievement Gap: Have We Flat-Lined?  — more evidence that test-driven schooling is a failure

Is Test-Mania Killing Interest in Science Teaching?

Philadelphia Suspends Faulty School Rating System — hard data got in the way of another faith-based evaluation system

Pearson Pays Out $623K for Test-Scoring Error That Blocked Graduation

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
ph-   (239) 395-6773    fax-  (239) 395-6779
cell-  (239) 699-0468

Published in: on November 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Recent Articles Against Race to the Trough and other Deformations of US Public Education

Bob Schaeffer of FairTest has been compiling weekly lists of good articles that give a view from ordinary schools and households on what it’s been like under NCLB and its successor, RTTT. Here’s Schaeffer’s latest list.   — gfb


Assessment reform pressure continued to escalate even as Hurricane Sandy slammed ashore.  Best wishes to our friends and allies in the mid-Atlantic states as they recover from the storm.

Arne Duncan’s Legacy: Doubling Down on High Stakes Testing Failures

Texas Tests Breed Schools for Scandal

Testing in Kindergarten — Whatever Happened to Story Time?

Hudson Valley Parents Rip Excess Testing

Data Missing for School Improvement Grant Claims

The MLK Imperative in an Era of “No Excuses”

Researchers Urge “Caution” in Use of Value-Added Scores

Measuring the Worth of a Teacher,0,592261,full.story

The Naked Emporer: What Test Scores Don’t Tell Us

Superintendent Dissects Race to the Trough’s Flaws

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
ph-   (239) 395-6773    fax-  (239) 395-6779
cell-  (239) 699-0468
Published in: on October 31, 2012 at 4:41 pm  Comments (1)  
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