Test revolts spread — but will they burn out?

Test revolts are spreading, writes Alexander Russo in The Atlantic.

This past year has shown an “unprecedented surge” of parents, teachers, and students revolting against standardized testing, according to Bob Schaeffer of FairTest, a Ford Foundation-funded nonprofit.

Roughly half the parents at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, middle school opted out of a 90-minute “pilot” reading test that was added to the normal battery of reading and math tests this past spring.

Over the summer, an estimated 1,600 people filled a Long Island high school football stadium in protest against the state’s move toward newer, tougher tests.

More than 80 percent of the parents at a New York City primary school recently decided against participating in testing that would have been used to evaluate their children’s teachers.

Protests like these have already led to testing rollbacks in TexasSeattle and Chicago.

A few states are resisting or rejecting new Common Core-aligned tests.

But most people accept testing, says Democrats for Education Reform’s policy director, Charles Barone. In a recent AP poll, only about one in four parents said their child takes too many standardized tests.

Parent protests against tests “pop up like wildfires” about every decade, but don’t catch on, says the Brookings Institution’s Tom Loveless.

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  1. Joanne I really enjoyed your short post on standardized test and how some educators, parents, and students are starting to protest their use. I am currently getting my masters in secondary education at the University of Michigan and found this to be insightful. Standardized tests have completely taken over education as the main form of assessment and I find this to be troubling. Standardized tests are inequitable and often force educators to “teach to the test.” Thank you

  2. Inequitable, how?