Non-profit

National Center for Fair & Open Testing

Website:

www.fairtest.org/

Location:

JAMAICA PLAIN, MA

Tax ID:

22-2653502

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $50,008
Expenses: $60,381
Assets: $6,925

Type:

Policy Organization

Formation:

1985

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National Center for Fair and Open Testing (also known as FairTest) is an education policy organization that advocates for ending standardized testing and making college-admission tests optional. 1 FairTest has taken funding from teachers’ unions and teachers’ union-affiliated organizations.  2

Background and History

FairTest was founded in 1985 to oppose perceived unfair barriers to opportunities made available through higher education, and specifically the way standardized tests allegedly contribute to this inequality. It was founded by activists from left-wing educational, civil rights, and feminist groups to promote equity in education. It held a kick-off conference in Washington, D.C. with Ralph Nader and Eleanor Smeal as keynote speakers. In 1987, staff from the group as well as its board chair testified in Congress about “Gender Bias in Standardized Tests.” 3

In 1994, FairTest filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights claiming that the Education Testing Service (ETS) and College Board were in violation of equal education laws by mandating an allegedly biased testing process for National Merit Scholars. In 2002, FairTest joined with Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) in filing a test bias complaint through the U.S. Department of Education about a scholarship program run by Florida called Bright Futures for alleged racial discrimination. 4

In 2003, FairTest filed a Supreme Court amicus brief in a Michigan affirmative action case challenging the idea that standardized test scores should be the primary way by which students are considered for admission. In 2004, FairTest published a report, Failing Our Children: How “No Child Left Behind” Undermines Quality and Equity in Education, attacking the Bush-era federal policy and providing what it believed to be a superior model of accountability and school improvement. 5

Activities

FairTest holds that standardized testing is misused and flawed, and that it leads to unfair evaluation of students, teachers, and schools. It advocates for making such tests optional at least, and believes that this would create a more “fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial” system. 6

It lists colleges that have made the submitting of scores from standardized tests optional in order to promote them. According to FairTest, as of 2023 over 1,800 accredited four-year colleges and universities had made SAT/ACT scores optional or had entirely replaced them with test-free admission policies. Of the more than 1,800 schools, more than 80 had gone completely test-free. 7

Funding

In 2019, FairTest had a total revenue of $50,008, total expenses of $60,381, and net assets of $5,122. 8

FairTest has received funding from the National Education Association (NEA), the Bay and Paul Foundations, Chicago Teachers Union Foundation, the Schott Foundation, New World Foundation, and Wiener Educational Foundation. 9

Leadership

As of 2023, the executive director of FairTest was Harry Feder, a former teacher at competitive public schools in New York City. 10

References

  1. “FairTest Home.” FairTest. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://fairtest.org/.
  2. “About FairTest.” FairTest.org. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://fairtest.org/about/.
  3. “History.” FairTest. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://fairtest.org/history/.
  4. “History.” FairTest. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://fairtest.org/history/.
  5. “History.” FairTest. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://fairtest.org/history/.
  6. “FairTest Home.” FairTest. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://fairtest.org/.
  7. “Test Optional List.” FairTest.org. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://fairtest.org/test-optional-list/.
  8. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). National Center for Fair and Open Testing. 2019. Part I, lines 9, 17, 21.
  9. “About FairTest.” FairTest.org. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://fairtest.org/about/.
  10. “Staff.” FairTest.org. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://fairtest.org/staff/.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: September - August
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 1986

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Sep Form 990EZ $50,008 $60,381 $6,925 $1,803 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2019 Sep Form 990EZ $176,340 $178,396 $17,489 $1,994 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2018 Sep Form 990 $291,375 $332,519 $35,134 $17,583 N $125,287 $166,078 $10 $169,025 PDF
    2017 Sep Form 990 $308,369 $278,504 $106,116 $47,421 N $70,003 $238,055 $11 $175,291
    2016 Sep Form 990 $265,672 $258,254 $77,675 $48,845 N $92,032 $172,042 $12 $174,475 PDF
    2015 Sep Form 990 $225,236 $275,302 $39,084 $17,672 N $73,700 $148,325 $44 $176,172 PDF
    2014 Sep Form 990EZ $154,332 $266,650 $82,431 $10,953 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Sep Form 990 $356,547 $268,346 $198,215 $14,419 N $48,152 $304,400 $257 $167,028 PDF
    2012 Sep Form 990EZ $84,728 $253,464 $101,361 $5,765 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Sep Form 990 $412,373 $164,639 $272,734 $8,402 N $45,657 $366,454 $262 $101,901 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    National Center for Fair & Open Testing

    9 HAMPSTEAD RD
    JAMAICA PLAIN, MA 02130-3905