Highlights of the Fairness in Testing Act of 2001


(1)     Principals may not rely SOLELY on a standardized test for promotion decisions. (unclear as to whether this will nullify the high school exit exam)


(2)     School Boards have the “power or duty” to adopt policies to allow parents to appeal building-level decisions to retain students.


(3)     State Board directed to perform cost-benefit analysis on distributing graded tests to parents and make recommendation to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee.


(4)     Personal Education Plans mandated for “at risk” students.  Our next alert will address this particular stipulation in detail.


(5)     No more than two days of instructional time per year devoted to activities that focus solely on taking practice tests that do not have an immediate instructional use.


(6)     No field tests or national tests to be given less than two weeks before any EOG or EOC test.


(7)     The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee shall study the State’s testing program in the following areas:


a.       The cost of developing, validating, and scoring standardized tests.


b.       Consider national off-the-shelf tests as possible replacements for state tests if they serve in an equal or better capacity to assess students AND/OR they save money (while maintaining quality of assessment).


c.       Consider reducing the number of tests for elementary students so long as certification to receive federal monies under proposed federal guidelines is not placed in jeopardy.



d.       Review the distribution of EOC assessment among grades 9 thru 12 with particular emphasis on considering adding additional assessment for grade 12/upper level courses to maintain accountability and measure growth throughout the high school experience.


e.       Consider using the SAT, AP Tests, or other standardized tests as a substitute for the exit exam.



f.        Consider limitation or prohibition of extra field testing or practice testing.


g.       Evaluate lack of accountability of alternative schools and investigate whether they have been used as dumping grounds to manipulate individual school or district test scores.