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Texas Parents Succeed With 'Too Many Tests' Law

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As news of Texas' parents victory against excessive standardized testing spreads, the calls have been coming in from parents who live in other states, wondering how to organize, says Dineen Majcher, an attorney and mother who was a leader of the resistance in the Lone Star state.

On Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law an overhaul of the high school curriculum that reduces the number of mandatory tests for graduation from 15 to five.

"We think it's a monumental achievement here," says Majcher, co-founder of Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment, and an attorney who has been working for this outcome for two years, dramatically reducing her practice to help organize the resistance. HB 5 passed the Senate unanimously and the House by a vote of 147-2. "All of our representatives heard their constituents and understood what a big problem this is," Majcher said.

The Texas victory was a result of "a lot of people working together— using Facebook and other social media, and sending e-blasts—so that we were able to mobilize people well. When there are parents in every single (legislator's) district that care, it's a very unifying issue," Majcher said.

She considers Texas "the original battleground," and at the forefront in its resistance to what many parents consider too much testing. "I think this bodes very well for efforts in other states," she said, while acknowledging that each state is unique in its approach to public school testing requirements.

In response to the out-of-state inquiries she receives, Majcher reports having "informal discussions with people about how we organized and how we disseminated information on social media."

More information about the organization's efforts to reduce the amount of mandatory testing is available here.

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