Testing Reform Victories 2015: Growing Grassroots Movement Rolls Back Testing Overkill

As its title suggests, the authors of this publication present information related to recent changes in state and district assessment policies. Those issues include:

  • Graduation Test Policies 
  • Test-Based Grade Retention
  • Opting Out of Testing
  • Public Opinion about Tests
  • Tests for College Admissions; and  
  • Recommendations for Continued Changes in Test Policies.

The authors cite a broad number of news articles related to each testing issue. 

Content Comments 

Although the purpose of this publication is not directly stated, the authors intent is clear from the following early statement: "The growing strength and sophistication of the U.S. testing resistance and reform movement began turning the tide against standardized exam overuse and misuse during the 2014-2015 school year. Assessment reformers scored significant wins in many states, thanks to intense pressure brought by unprecedented waves of opting out and other forms of political action."

The remainder of the publication provides evidence to support the authors' contention that states and school districts use too many tests that are either unnecessary, not valid or fair for their purposes, or both. Although the authors do not provide contradictory evidence against their concerns about too much testing and thus present a very specific point of view, their evidence is substantial.

Communications quality, including both writing and design, are excellent. Utility should be reasonably high, especially by parents, educators, and policymakers concerned about the number and quality of tests taken by K-12 students. While evidence of effectiveness is not described, this publication could well have an effect on education policy and consequently on student learning.