Tuesday, July 25, 2017

FairTest Testing Resistance & Reform News July 12 - 18, 2017

FairTest Testing Resistance & Reform News July 12 - 18, 2017


There's no evidence of any "summer doldrums" for the U.S. assessment reform movement.  With each week, more and more states respond to grassroots pressure by reducing testing mandates and the time devoted to standardized exams. Nationally, the impact is striking: for example, the number of jurisdictions with high school exit exams has been trimmed to just 13, down from 27 that once had or planned such requirements (http://fairtest.org/graduation-test-update-states-recently-eliminated).


Alabama 
Why Teacher Diversity Is Important for Student Academic Performance
http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/07/why_its_important_to_have_a_di.html

California 
Controversies Over State ESSA Plan
http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20170716/state-board-faces-deadline-tough-decisions-on-new-federal-law-for-improving-schools

District of Columbia 
The Truth About Cheating in DC Schools
https://themerrowreport.com/2017/07/14/school-reforms-hot-air-balloon/

Florida Algebra 2 End-of-Course Testing Mandate Ended
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/can-florida-students-still-take-the-algebra-2-end-of-course-exam/2330027

Idaho 
Small Schools May Be Exempt Under Proposed ESSA Accountability Plan
https://www.idahoednews.org/news/small-schools-may-exempt-accountability-provisions-essa-plan/

Maryland 
State Seeks Feedback on ESSA Plan
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/harford/aegis/ph-ag-new-school-ratings-0712-20170711-story.html
Maryland Impact of State Testing Time Limits Will Vary Among Districts
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/k-12/bs-md-testing-cap-20170714-story.html

Massachusetts 
What Today's Education Reformers Can Learn From Thoreau
http://www.masslive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/07/what_todays_education_reformer.html

Minnesota 
Students Talk About Standardized Testing -- St. Paul Federation of Teachers Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNHYPtsNBFk&feature=youtu.be

Montana 
Educators Criticize Fairness of Proposal for Testing Learning Disabled Students
http://missoulian.com/news/government-and-politics/educators-question-fairness-of-opi-s-proposal-for-disabled-students/article_3c4487a8-48b5-5ac2-8e6f-d90851533700.html

New York 
Educators Judged by Test Scores From Students, Subjects They Don't Teach
http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2017/07/13/new-data-show-more-than-half-of-nyc-teachers-judged-in-part-by-test-scores-they-dont-directly-affect/

Ohio
 How Graduation Testing Requirements Have Been Relaxed
http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/what-you-need-know-about-ohio-new-graduation-changes/C4K4KoZluw0no2xQ5gLsQN/
Ohio Third Graders May Be Held Back Due to Errors in Setting Test Cut-Off Scores
http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/07/errors_could_unfairly_force_som.html

Oklahoma Ever-Changing State Assessment Requirements
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/education/attention-parents-of-oklahoma-students-delay-in-state-test-scores/article_17af4de7-8866-524c-96e2-f5f7f026dc9b.html

Oregon 
Test Scores Are the Wrong Bottom Line for Education
http://registerguard.com/rg/opinion/35754947-78/test-scores-are-wrong-bottom-line-in-education.html.csp

Pennsylvania 
Teaching to the Test Takes Time From Real Learning
http://www.readingeagle.com/voices/article/teaching-to-the-test

Texas State Testing Data Inconsistencies Do Not Support Year-to-Year Comparisons
http://www.chron.com/news/education/article/Fewer-Texas-Houston-students-pass-state-s-11286107.php

Virginia 
Standardized Tests To Have Smaller Influence Under Proposed New Law
http://wvtf.org/post/standardized-tests-could-have-smaller-impact-under-potential-new-law#stream/0

Washington 
Make Legislators Pass Fifth Grade Math Test
http://www.theolympian.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article161033609.html

Wisconsin 
Eliminate Test-Based Barriers to Becoming a Teacher
http://bustedpencils.com/2017/07/no-status-quo-wisconsin/

University Admissions 
Law Deans Ask Why Their Schools Should Be Required to Use Admissions Tests
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/rather_than_accept_more_entrance_exams_some_law_school_deans_favor_eliminat

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Actionable Knowledge for Equity bulletin on bullying and harassment, actionable data, quality teaching, and school leadership.

IDRA's Actionable Knowledge for Equity bulletin gives you info on four campaign areas: bullying and harassment, actionable data, quality teaching, and school leadership.

--------- July 2017 ---------
IDRA's Actionable Knowledge for Equity bulletin gives you info on four campaign areas: bullying and harassment, actionable data, quality teaching, and school leadership.

In this issue... 
  • Most In-school Bullying Occurs in Hallways and Classrooms
  • Racial-ethnic Tension Occurs at All Grade Levels
  • 5 Reasons Research Shows Teacher Leave
  • School Boards that Lead for Equity - Podcast
IDRA's empirically-based  Quality Schools Action Framework outlines indispensable levers of change that depend on the production and use of actionable knowledge - clear, accurate and timely information - to assess what is needed to strengthen public schooling.
Bullying and Harassment 
Most In-school Bullying Occurs in Hallways and Classrooms 
In May, NCES released the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey with data on bullying. About 21 percent of teens (12 to 18 years old) reported being bullied at school during the school year in 2015. By race-ethnicity, 25 percent of Black students, 22 percent of White students and 17 percent of Hispanic students reported being bullied at school. By grade levels, the percentage was higher for sixth graders than students in eighth through 12th grades. 

The graph below shows the location where the bullying was reported to have occurred, with the most being in a school hallway or stairwell followed by bullying inside the classroom.
Location of Bullying in Schools

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 2015. Location totals may sum to more than 100 percent because students could have been bullied in more than one location.

Other Resources
Actionable Data 
Racial-ethnic Tension Occurs at All Grade Levels
While the perception may be that racial-ethnic tension is most prominent among older teenagers, schools across the country are reporting issues that lead to discipline problems at all grade levels. Middle schools have over twice the rate of other levels. And surprisingly, elementary schools have higher rates than high schools. 
Source: NCES Digest of Education Statistics. Percentage of public schools reporting selected discipline problems that occurred at school, by frequency and selected school characteristics: Selected years, 1999-2000 through 2013-14. 
Quality Teaching 
School Leadership 

School Boards that Lead for Equity - 
Classnotes Podcast
In order for educational equity to take hold in a school, it is critical that it be in an environment where the district level governance structure provides leadership for systemic equity. A former superintendent in three school districts, Dr. Larry Leverett is the recently-retired executive director of Panasonic Foundation that supports efforts of school systems to improve academic and social outcomes for all students. In this podcast episode, he describes how the Panasonic Foundation has shifted its focus to school board leadership in advancing system-wide equity strategies. (Show length: 15:29 min.)

Dr. Leverett is one of the authors of the journal that was published earlier this year, Essential Approaches for Excellence & Sustainable School System Transformation, that was developed by a group of experts who came together to pull together capacity-building approaches for school and system change. As he relates in this interview, Larry's chapter, Systems Change and Governance: School Boards That Lead for Equity, outlines several actions boards should take.

Larry is interviewed by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., former director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity, who also contributed a chapter in the ECCBN journal. Send comments to podcast@idra.org. Sign up to receive free e-mail notices when new episodes are available. 
The Intercultural Development Research Association is an independent, non-profit organization. Our mission is to achieve equal educational opportunity for every child through strong public schools that prepare all students to access and succeed in college. IDRA strengthens and transforms public education by providing dynamic training; useful research, evaluation, and frameworks for action; timely policy analyses; and innovative materials and programs.
We are committed to the IDRA valuing philosophy, respecting the knowledge and skills of the individuals we work with and build on the strengths of the students and parents in their schools.
IDRA, 5815 Callaghan Road, Suite 101, San Antonio, TX 78228
Sent by contact@idra.org in collaboration with
Constant Contact

Thursday, June 8, 2017

FairTest Testing Resistance & Reform News: May 31 - June 6, 2017

FairTest Testing Resistance & Reform News: May 31 - June 6, 2017
Intense controversies over testing continue at the state and local levels.  Many legislatures and school boards are responding to the demands of grassroots assessment reformers by eliminating some standardized exams and reducing the stakes attached to their scores.

National New Federal Law May Increase Testing of English Language Learners
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/05/24/more-testing-is-forecast-for-nations-ell.html

Alabama
 Changes Could Be Coming to State Testing
http://www.clantonadvertiser.com/2017/05/30/changes-could-be-coming-to-state-testing/

California Board Rethinking How to Assess Alternative Schools
http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20170603/california-board-of-education-rethinking-how-to-measure-alternative-school-performance

Florida 
School Grading System Encourages Students to Take Two Final Exam in Same Course
http://extracredit.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2017/06/01/parent-2-final-exams-for-the-same-course-blame-school-grades-formula/

Illinois 
State Science Exam Scores Delayed by More Than a Year
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-science-exams-met-20170605-story.html

New Jersey 
Over-testing Is Hurting the Children It Was Supposed to Help
https://dianeravitch.net/2017/06/05/new-jersey-over-testing-is-hurting-the-children-it-is-supposed-to-help/

New York 
Taking Too Many Tests Detracts From Joy of Learning
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/life/2017/06/01/too-many-tests-can-detract-joy-learning/345679001/
New York Rebranding Common Core as "Next Generation Learning Standards"
https://suffolktimes.timesreview.com/2017/06/75579/common-core-rebranded-next-generation-learning-standards/

North Carolina 
End-of-Grade Tests Cause Panic Attacks in Young Children
https://www.facebook.com/talesofaneducateddebutante/posts/1894555084119885:0

Ohio 
ACT Reverses Policy and Will Score Exams After Test-maker's Mistake
http://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/act-to-accept-score-all-1300-tests-originally-deemed-invalid-due-to-misadministration

Pennsylvania 
Keystone Exams Get Failing Grade
http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20170603/keystone-exams-get-a-failing-grade-locally

South Carolina
 Questions About Role of Test Scores in Teacher Evaluations
http://counton2.com/2017/05/30/charleston-teacher-evaluations-questioned-for-emphasis-on-test-scores/

Tennessee Scanning Problems Further Delay Test Score Reporting
http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/education/2017/06/02/scanning-problems-delay-tnready-scores/366219001/

Texas
 Legislature Wants to Extend Non-Test Graduation Options
http://www.kristv.com/story/35553851/the-states-alternative-graduation-program
Texas State Sanctions More Educators for Test Cheating
http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/education/episd/2017/06/02/state-sanctions-el-paso-high-coronado-administrators/365465001/

Washington 
Legislators Press to Eliminate Graduation Testing Requirement
http://katu.com/news/local/washington-state-lawmakers-want-to-change-hs-graduation-based-on-passing-tests
Washington Linking Graduation to High-Stakes Exams Was a Mistake
http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/linking-graduation-to-high-stakes-testing-was-a-mistake/?

Worth Reading 
Is the U.S. Education and Testing System Producing a Society of Smart Fools
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-the-u-s-education-system-producing-a-society-of-ldquo-smart-fools-rdquo/?WT.mc_id=SA_FB_MB_NEWS

Worth Reading Funder Backed Project Explores Alternatives to Standardized Tests
https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2017/6/1/self-assessment-personalized-learning-grants

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office-   (239) 395-6773   fax-  (239) 395-6779
mobile- (239) 699-0468
web-  http://www.fairtest.org


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

FairTest Testing Resistance & Reform News: May 24 - 30, 2017

FairTest Testing Resistance & Reform News: May 24 - 30, 2017
Bob Schaeffer


Across the country, the academic year is winding down. Many school districts have already closed for the summer. Yet, testing controversies remain as intense as ever with advocates for fewer standardized exams and lower stakes winning more victories.  Remember that assessment reform allies can sign up to receive these free weekly news updates by clicking on:
   http://fairtest.org/weekly-news-signup

California 
State Seeks Non-Test Tool to Assess Alternative Schools
https://edsource.org/2017/state-board-rethinking-how-to-measure-performance-of-alternative-schools/582594

Georgia 
Struggles Go Beyond Test Scores at School Serving Impoverished Kids
http://news.wabe.org/post/1-low-performing-ga-school-struggles-go-beyond-test-scores

Hawaii 
Teachers Say State ESEA Plan Still Too Heavily Tied to Test Scores
http://thegardenisland.com/news/local/education/essa-still-tied-to-test-scores/article_e18112c7-4e56-50f6-a745-20dd7a294d6d.html

Indiana 
State Will Allow Non-Test Paths to High School Graduation
http://www.batesvilleheraldtribune.com/news/local_news/indiana-eyes-more-paths-to-high-school-graduation/article_baffb076-7a54-5bb2-8f74-806bbf83d2d2.html

Maryland New Law Slashes Number of Tests Students Take
http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/maryland/2017/05/25/maryland-slashes-number-tests-students/345786001/
Maryland Testimony by FairTest in Favor of Testing Cap Legislation
http://fairtest.org/fairtest-tells-maryland-legislators-cap-test-time

Massachusetts 
Teachers Fight World Largest Testing Company
https://www.baystateparent.com/2017/05/25/teachers-fight-the-worlds-largest-testing-company/

Michigan 
More to Students Than Test Scores
http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/story/opinion/readers/2017/05/28/letter-editor-more-students-than-test-scores/351674001/

New York 
Standardized Testing System Leaves Some Students in the Dust
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/life/2017/05/26/standardized-tests-benefit-some-leave-others-dust/343443001/

Ohio 
Legislative Budget Would Allow Return of Pencil-and-Paper Testing
http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170524/ohio-schools-might-regain-paper-option-for-standardized-tests

Pennsylvania 
Board Passes Resolution Calling for Testing Reform
http://www.centredaily.com/news/local/education/article152268017.html

Tennessee 
Test Scores Won't Be Reported in Time to be Included on Report Cards
http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/35504928/update-tnready-test-scores-wont-arrive-in-time-for-report-cards

Texas 
Lawmakers Send Grad Test Reprieve Legislation to Governor
http://www.statesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/texas-lawmakers-approve-high-school-staar-reprieve-rejects-others/6kZAd3BPjlAiZD92niEONM/
Texas Court Finds Test-Based Teacher Evaluations Flawed
http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/opinion/2017/05/26/court-finds-teacher-evaluation-system-flawed/102219102/

Virginia 
What Happens When Students Design Their Own Assessments?
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/05/24/what-happens-when-students-design-their-own.html

Washington 
Legislators Debate Suspending Grad Testing Requirement
https://www.heraldnet.com/news/testing-rules-stymie-lawmakers/

University Admissions 
SAT Test Preppery
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sat-test-preppery_us_5924cc28e4b0ed5eed13233d

Employment Testing 
Watch Out If You Are Not a White Man
https://www.revealnews.org/article/given-a-test-to-apply-for-a-job-watch-out-if-you-are-not-a-white-man/

Worth Reading Mandatory Grade Retention Programs Hurt Children
http://neatoday.org/2017/05/22/student-retention-laws/
Worth Reading Programs Try to "De-Stress" High-Stakes Testing
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/05/24/teaching-students-to-de-stress-over-testing.html

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office-   (239) 395-6773   fax-  (239) 395-6779
mobile- (239) 699-0468
web-  http://www.fairtest.org