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online – More Teaching Less Testing – Virtual National Conference

April 13 @ 11:00 am - 2:30 pm

More Teaching Less Testing – Virtual National Conference

Sat April 13 @ 2:00 pm5:30 pm EDT

More Teaching Less Testing

Virtual National Conference, Sat., April 13, 2:00 – 5:30 pm, 2024

Throughout our nation’s history, access to a quality education, as well as the content of that education, has been a political battleground. The struggle to protect and expand quality public education is again intensifying, with right wing Legislators and local allies attempting to limit access to equal rights curricula and book collections. U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s Congressional “More Teaching Less Testing” Act, as well as the collection of more than 100,000 signatures for a Massachusetts anti-MCAS ballot initiative, opens new fronts for promoting quality public education. This Conference explores the growing resistance to the use of high stakes testing to control school curriculum and student learning, as well as the need for increased state and federal financial investments – “Books not Bombs”– to ensure quality education for all.


2:00 – Welcome and the Tasks of the Day – Prof. Jonathan King (MIT and Mass Peace Action Education Fund).

2:05 – Opening Plenary:

  • Historical Struggles for Expansion of Public Education – Prof. Noliwe Rooks (Brown University);
  • Before and After Brown vs Board of Education – Prof. Karilyn Crockett (MIT Urban Studies);
  • Authentic Assessment – Dan French (President, Citizens for Public Schools).

2: 45 pm -The Burdens of Standardized High Stakes Testing – Chair Lisa Guisbond (Citizens for Public Schools);

  • Political Origins of High Stakes Testing in NY- Alexandra Rathmann-Noonan (New York Performance Standards Consortium);
  •  Impacts on Teachers – Kathy Greeley (Cambridge Retried Educators United);
  • Impacts of High Stakes Testing on young students – Denisha Jones (Defending the Early Years);
  • Impact on Students and Families – Prof. Lou Kruger (Northeastern University).

3:30 pm The Congressional Battleground: Chair Alain Jehlen (Citizens for Public Schools);

  • Under Funding of Education in State and Federal Budgets – State Rep. Carol Doherty;
  • Growing rejection of High Stakes in Many States – Harry Feder (National Center for Fair and Open Testing).

4:05 pm KEYNOTE: The “More Teaching Less Testing” Act – U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

4:20 Breakouts:

  • A. State Legislative Challenges to High Stakes Graduation Requirements – Chair, Deb McCarthy (Mass. Teacher’s Association); Rep. Carol Doherty (Mass State Legislature); Bob Schaeffer (Fairtest).
  • B. Resisting Narrowing of Curriculum & Rote Learning – Chair Doug Selwyn (Western MA); Jeanette Duetermann (New York State Allies for Public Education & Long Island Opt Out); Cassie Cresswell (Illinois Families for Public Schools).
  • C. Corporate Influences on Public Education – Chair, Harry Feder (Fairtest); Andrew King (Our Revolution); Alexandra Rathmann-Noonan (New York Performance Standards);
  • D. Heightened Impacts on Students and Families of Color – Chair, Edith Bazile (Black Advocates for Educational Excellence); Denisha Jones (Defending the Early Years).
  • E. Impacts on Special Ed and ELA students – Chair, Vatsady Sivongxay (Mass Education Justice Alliance); Ruth Rodriquez (Citizens for Public Schools); Lisa Guisbond (Citizens for Public Schools).
  • F. Community Efforts to Defend Public Schools and Libraries Chair, Nicky Osborne (Mattapoisset Democratic Committee); Jackie King (MassParents); Kathy Greeley (Cambridge Retired Educators United).
  • G. Books Not Bombs: Securing the Budgets Our Schools Need – Jill Nelson (Denver, CO); Jonathan King (Mass Peace Action); Jessica Tang (Boston Teachers Union AFTMA).

5:15 pm – Moving Forward: Chair: Jessica Tang (Boston Teachers Union AFTMA)

  • Legislative Initiatives in Massachusetts – Deb McCarthy (Mass Teachers Association).

5:30 pm – Adjourn.



April 13
11:00 am - 2:30 pm