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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
Posted: Jun 27, 2012 4:22 PM
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From Monty Neill, Ed.D.; Executive Director, FairTest; P.O. Box
300204, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-477-9792;

National Center for Fair & Open Testing

For further information: Dr. Monty Neill (617) 477-9792 -- Bob
Schaeffer (239) 395-6773

For immediate release, Tuesday, June 26, 2012


A rising tide of protest is sweeping the U.S. as growing numbers of
parents, teachers, and administrators take action against high-stakes
testing, according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing
(FairTest). Instead of "test-and-punish" policies, which have failed
to improve academic performance or equity, the movement is pressing
for broader forms of assessment they say will enhance teaching and
learning. From Texas to New York and Florida to Washington State,
reform activists seek to reduce the number of standardized exams.
They also want to scale back the consequences attached to test scores
and use multiple measures to evaluate students, educators, and

More than 10,000 individuals, 350 organizations and hundreds of
school boards have now endorsed the National Resolution on
High-Stakes Testing. Launched by education, civil rights and
religious groups including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and
Educational Fund, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness
Ministries, Parents Across America and the National Education
Association as well as FairTest, the National Resolution urges state
officials to "reexamine school accountability." It calls for a system
"which does not require extensive standardized testing, more
accurately reflects the broad range of student learning, and is used
to support students and improve schools." It also asks Congress and
the Obama Administration to overhaul No Child Left Behind.

The national movement was catalyzed by Texas where 545 local school
boards have adopted a "Resolution Concerning High Stakes,
Standardized Testing of Texas Public School Students." The endorsing
districts are responsible for educating 3.3 million students, more
than two-thirds of the state's public school enrollment.

In Florida more than a dozen countywide school committees serving
three-quarters of a million students endorsed the National
Resolution. Early supporters included Broward County, the nation's
sixth biggest district, and Palm Beach County, the 11th largest.
Then, the state association of school boards annual convention voted
to endorse a state-specific version. Dozens of newspaper editorials,
opinion columns, and letters to the editor have called for a
reduction in testing and an overhaul of the state's assessment system.

The National Resolution has also won support from several school
boards in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area as well as Ohio and Virginia.

The resolutions are not the only form of protest. This spring New
York parents organized a boycott of a "field test" designed to
develop future questions. Parents at more than five dozen schools
held their children out on days the exams were scheduled. Boycotts
also emerged in other states. In Snohomish, Washington, 550 parents
opted their children out. Campaigns aimed at encouraging more
"opt-outs" are underway in California and Colorado.

This summer, assessment reform leaders intend to use campaign season
to continue their momentum. They plan to press elected officials and
their challengers to take public positions against test misuse and
overuse. In St. Petersburg, Florida, for example, voters already
convinced seven of eight contenders for the local school board to
oppose high-stakes standardized exams. By "bird-dogging" candidate
forums, asking pointing questions, publishing opinion columns in
local media, and commenting on political blogs, advocates expect to
deliver a clear message to those who ultimately make assessment
policy: "Enough is enough!"
- The National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing is online at
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

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