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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

MORE THAN 675,000 STUDENTS REFUSED STATE TESTS ACROSS U.S. IN 2015; EVEN BROADER PROTESTS PLANNED FOR SPRING 2016 EXAM SEASON GROWING OPT-OUT MOVEMENT SPURS ASSESSMENT REFORMS

The Opt-Out Movement is also happening in Texas—and has in fact been happening here since the beginning of all this testing madness.  This blog was motivated into existence in great part by this initially small movement that is today (finally!) a full-blown, national campaign.

I shudder to think of all the damage that we have done to children as a consequence of the mis-education that has occurred as a result of the de facto curriculum that the tests themselves represent in many schools—even as they work as a conduit for the direct flow of taxpayer dollars into the pockets of the greedy, for-profit sector that further translates the whole of education into the (il)logic of the market.  Schools aren't a business, my friends.  They are a public space that troubles itself over values, ethics, and morality alongside the development of human, social, and cultural capital.

Angela

Updated Monday, May 9, 2016

MORE THAN 675,000 STUDENTS REFUSED STATE TESTS ACROSS U.S. IN 2015; EVEN BROADER PROTESTS PLANNED FOR SPRING 2016 EXAM SEASON GROWING OPT-OUT MOVEMENT SPURS ASSESSMENT REFORMS



     Around the U.S., more than two-thirds of a million public school students refused to take standardized exams during the 2015 testing season, according to a preliminary tally released today. The count by the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), a leader of the national assessment reform movement, is based on news reports and detailed surveys by local activists.
Among the largest state opt-out figures (with sources):

-  240,000   New York (news reports and New York State Allies for Public Education counts)
-  130,000   New Jersey (NJ Spotlight)
-  100,000   Colorado (Chalkbeat Colorado and SEEK for Cherry Creek)
-    50,000+ Washington State (news reports)
-    44,000   Illinois (Chicago Tribune from state report)
-    20,386   California (EdSource)
-  ~20,000   Oregon (news reports)
-    20,000   Florida (Orlando Sentinel from state report)
-    11,200   Connecticut (news reports)
-    10,300   Rhode Island (state report)
-    10,000   New Mexico (news reports)
-      8,100   Wisconsin (Wisconsin State Journal from state reports)
-    ~5,000   Louisiana (Baton Rouge Advocate from state report)
-      4,600   Pennsylvania (Lehigh Valley Live from state report)
-      4,300   Georgia (Atlanta Journal Constitution from state official)
-       ?  ?     Other states not yet reporting

“The opt-out movement and other assessment reform initiatives exploded across the country this year as more parents said ‘enough is enough’ to high-stakes testing overkill,” explained FairTest Executive Director Monty Neill. “If anything, the initial estimate of half a million opt-outs in 2015 was low because many states have denied requests to make test refusal data public. This intense grassroots pressure is beginning to force policymakers to roll back standardized exam misuse and overuse.”

FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer concluded, “The assessment reform movement is energizing ever-growing legions of parents, students, educators, school administrators, and community leaders. In the 2016 testing season, we expect many more families to refuse to take part in unnecessary testing, which undermines educational quality and equity.”
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- for details about local assessment reform campaigns:
            New York -- Lisa Rudley 917-914-9190 or Jeanette Deutermann 516-902-9228
            New Jersey -- Susan Cauldwell 908-507-1020 or Julie Borst 201-693-3808
            Colorado -- Ilana Spiegel  303-523-0711 or Stefanie Fuhr 303-483-1196
            Washington State -- Jesse Hagopian 206-962-1685
            Illinois  -- Cassie Creswell 716-536-9313
- to reach assessment reform organizers in other jurisdictions, see the state-by-state list of contacts at:
                                       http://www.fairtest.org/get_involved/state_resources

- FairTest’s recent report “Testing Reform Victories 2015: Growing Grassroots Movement Rolls Back Testing Overkill” is online at: http://www.fairtest.org/sites/default/files/2015-Resistance-Wins-Report-Final.pdf

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