National Center for Fair & Open Testing
for further information:
Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773
Lisa Guisbond (617) 959-2371
for immediate release Wednesday, November 18, 2015
MORE THAN 500,000 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., well over half 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)
- 110,000+ New Jersey (Save Our Schools New Jersey)
- 100,000 Colorado (Chalkbeat Colorado and SEEK for Cherry Creek)
- 50,000+ Washington State (news reports)
- ~20,000 Oregon (news reports)
- ~20,000 Illinois (More Than a Score)
- 10,000 New Mexico (news reports)
- ? ? 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 estimate of half a million opt-outs in 2015 is 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:
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:
- 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
Monty Neill, Ed.D.; Executive Director, FairTest; P.O. Box 300204, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-477-9792; http://www.fairtest.org; Donate to FairTest: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/fairtest
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