OPT OUT NEWS: The panic of the plutocracy against the Opt Out movement sounds like a resurrected 'Domino Theory'

By the time most of the administrations of the ISAT (Illinois State Achievement Testing) testing program had ended on March 11 and March 12, 2014, the evidence was still incomplete about the panicky response by the Chicago administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his hand-picked Board of Education and schools "Chief Executive Officer". But it was clear that in many -- if not most -- parents of children in Chicago public schools had faced a lot of bullying if they chose to opt out their children from the lame duck ISAT testing. But not all parents and not all schools faced the widespread bullying. Preliminary information shows that CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett ordered that most of the bullying take place in schools where the majority of children were Black and Latino -- with parents who were working class or very poor.

Sarah Chambers, leader of the teachers at Chicago's Saucedo elementary school, spoke to the rally on behalf of Opt Out and the teacher boycott at the March 10, 2014 rally at the school. Substance photo by Sharon Schmidt.By March 7, the organizations "More Than A Score" and "PURE" had acquired assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to protect the rights of parents to opt out their children and the right of teachers to boycott the tests. Despite attempts by Chicago and Illinois officials to create pretexts for the continuation of children's participation in the tests, the largest number of children in history opted out of a Chicago testing program, and the longer the testing program moved forward the more children were opted out despite the pressure.

First, the national report, provided on March 11, 2014 by Fair Test, showed the widespread impact of resistance to high-stakes testing across the USA:

Across the nation, parents and teachers are resisting the testing mania imposed by the U.S. Department of Education and Congress. It is a good time to remember that education is not mentioned in the Constitution, and that it is traditionally considered a state and local function. The federal government provides only 10% of the funding.

The test resistance ranged from teachers in clown suits in Maryland to parents facing down threats from school administrators in Colorado. And Chicago was the epicenter of the resistance, with thousands of children (including the two sons of this reporter) being opted out of the ISAT tests, while dozens of teachers stood and said they would not give an unethical and wasteful testing program, the ISAT.

Here is FairTest's roundup of the latest resistance to high-stakes testing:

Testing Resistance & Reform Spring is taking off across the nation. This week's stories include articles about protests against standardized exam overkill in a dozen states plus several excellent commentaries. Be sure to post your events and take advantage of the resources available to support your work via the new, simpler URL: -- as always, feel free to use or adapt the many useful fact sheets at

Test Skeptics Aim to Build Support Through Opt-Out and Boycott Strategies

Educators Boycotting Chicago Exam Spend Day Teaching Not Testing

National Leaders Support Chicago Test Boycott

Resources for Supporting Chicago Parents and Teachers Protesting the ISAT

Dressed in Clown Suits, Maryland Teachers Protest Excessive Testing

Maryland Super Tells Parents State Test is Useless

Florida Ed Commissioner's Arrogant Letter Angers Mother of Recently Deceased Disabled Child

Testing Fixation Drives Florida School Board Member to Quit, Fight on Larger Battleground

Worcester Mass. School Committee Will Allow Students to Opt Out of Common Core Pilot Exam

More Massachusetts Education Leaders Criticize Double-Testing

New York Protests Intensify as Common Core Tests Loom

Rochester, NY, Teachers Association Brings Suit Against "Value Added" Evaluations

Connecticut Educators Want to Reexamine Test-Based Teacher Evaluation Model

Connecticut Parents Seek to Opt Children Out of Common Core Tests,0,1363518.story

The Brave New World of "College and Career Readiness" Testing

North Carolina Families Opt Out of Standardized Tests

Penn. Parents Join Forces to Opt Kids Out of Standardized Tests

Arkansas Professor Urges 11th Graders to Opt Out of Literacy Test

Tennessee Teacher Sue Claiming "Value-Added" Assessment is Arbitrary and Unconstitutional

Virginia Lawmakers Seek to Reduce Number of Standardized Tests

Nashua, New Hampshire Board Backs Delay of New Test

NEA Pushes Bill to Reduce Federal Testing Mandates

When Education is Nothing But a Test Score

13 Ways High-Stakes Exams Hurt Students

Believing We Can Improve Schooling with More Tests is Like Believing You Can Make Yourself Grow Taller by Measuring Your Height

Accountability and Motivation -- Test-Driven Policies Get it Wrong

Common Core Testing Further Undermines Educational Equity

I Opted My Kids Out of Standardized Tests, Then Learned a Thing or Two

Testing Diverted The War on Poverty -- By FairTest Board member Deborah Meier

Parent to Pres. Obama: Why Don't Private Schools Adopt Test-Driven "Reforms"?

What the U.S. Can Learn From Finland

Activists Call for Congressional Hearings on Standardized Test Misuse

Critics Give SAT Revisions a Failing Grade

The Real Reason the SAT is Changing: Competition from ACT

College President: SAT is Part Hoax and Part Fraud

FairTest News Releases and

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director

FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing

office- (239) 395-6773 fax (239) 395-6779

mobile- (239) 699-0468



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