Anti-standardization and testing opt-out movements in education: Resistance, disputes and transformation


  • Javier Campos Martinez Universidad Austral de Chile
  • Alejandra Falabella Universidad Alberto Hurtado
  • Jessica Holloway Australian Catholic University
  • Diego Santori King's College London



accountability, testing, opt-out movements, social movements, resistance


Testing, scoring comparison and accountability policies have become a ubiquitous part of schooling across most countries in the 21st century. The persistence of these hyper-surveillance measures has occurred in spite of an accumulative and increasing amount of evidence that illustrates negative effects of these kinds of policies. Meanwhile, diverse school actors have grown increasingly skeptical of how tests are being used, leading various groups to mobilize and resist such trends in education. This special issue looks at these resistance movements to school accountability measures across the world, gathering experiences of resistance from movements in countries in South America, Europe, North America, and Asia. This paper provides theoretical tools for analyzing resistance and presents an overview of these movements, highlighting common trends and variations referring to their goals, political strategies and outcomes.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Javier Campos Martinez, Universidad Austral de Chile

Javier Campos Martínez is assistant professor at the Institute of Education Sciences of the Universidad Austral de Chile, researching educational inclusion in teacher training and higher education. He participates in the Working Group on Educational Policies and the Right to Education of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), and is one of the national coordinators of the Teacher Work Studies Network (ESTRADO) in Chile. Co-founder of the campaign against Chilean standardized tests “Alto al SIMCE,” he has worked on designing and implementing experimental programs that foster inclusion and school success through assessment for learning at the local level.

Alejandra Falabella, Universidad Alberto Hurtado

Alejandra Falabella is an associate professor of the Department of Educational Policy and School Development at Universidad Alberto Hurtado (Chile). Her main areas of interest are in sociology of education and the relationship between education policy, school practices, social class and gender. Falabella’s research focuses on the ways market-driven and accountability policies are understood and experienced among schools and families. Recently she has studied the ways new public management policies affect early childhood education, using feminist theory. Falabella is associate editor of the journal Education Policy Analysis Archives

Jessica Holloway, Australian Catholic University

Jessica Holloway is a senior research fellow and Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow within the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education (ILSTE) and the Research Centre for Digital Data and Assessment in Education at Australian Catholic University. Her research draws on political theory and policy sociology to follow two major lines of inquiry: (1) how metrics, data and digital tools produce new conditions, practices and subjectivities, especially as this relates to teachers and schools, and (2) how teachers and schools are positioned to respond to the evolving and emerging needs of their students and communities.

Diego Santori, King's College London

Diego Santori is a senior lecturer in education and society at King’s College London. His research interests include the relationships between education policy, economics and subjectivity and the ways in which their interpenetration produce new cultural forms and practices. His work has appeared in leading academic journals and major international collections such as the World Yearbook of Education 2016, the International Handbook on Ethnography of Education, and the Handbook of Global Policy and Policy-Making in Education. Together with Stephen Ball and Carolina Junemann he has published Globalisation and Education Policy Mobility (Routledge, 2017). He has also served as a panel member for prestigious funding bodies such as UKRI. He is currently researching the impact of test-based accountability on teacher-pupil interaction; and the mechanisms, motivations and influence of grassroots organisations involved in resisting standardised testing in England.




How to Cite

Campos Martinez, J., Falabella, A., Holloway, J., & Santori, D. (2022). Anti-standardization and testing opt-out movements in education: Resistance, disputes and transformation . Education Policy Analysis Archives, 30, (132).



Testing Opt-out Movements