The Superintendent's Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Committee has also released a statement (in the comments section) that they support the MAP boycott. From their statement:
Evidence of the lack of care and thought in MAP testing is that our children are REGULARLY denied their accommodations for the MAP. How does MAP testing somehow take precedence over the necessary accommodations on the IEP?
In addition, the Superintendent will be holding a media briefing right before the School Board meeting on Wednesday about MAP testing.
- Rally for teachers/parents/students against MAP tomorrow, Wednesday, the 23rd, at 4 pm (just before the School Board meeting). It's billed as "Scrap the MAP; Students are not Test Scores."
- Noted national educators added their support; Diane Ravitch, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, Jonathan Kozol and professor Nancy Carlsson-Paige (Matt Damon's mom; he also supports the effort.) and the AFT.
Others supporting this effort: Noam Comsky, MIT, Anthony Cody of Education Week magazine and Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters/Huffington Post plus 70 other educators and researchers.
- other schools showing support include Franklin High, Roosevelt High, West Seattle High and Center School. Center School has an interesting situation where they are able to give MAP without infringing on class time. They stated that they will not give the MAP if that were to change. The West Seattle High speaker said that she didn't think they needed to scrap MAP but that they did not support its use to evaluate teachers.
- the Seattle Substitute Association (the union for substitute teachers) also support this effort.
It was noted that while the district promises a review, the SEA had been expressing concerns over the use of MAP for years.
At least 50 ORCA parents have opted out and Garfield students are asking parents to opt them out as well.
The Board has had no official reply and says they need to meet with the Superintendent first.
It was also noted that the Times had it wrong in one of their articles. The MAP is NOT part of the teachers contract. The contract only says there has to be two assessments and both do not have to be tests.
The teachers gave a very heartfelt explanation of what they want to do. They want to give their own assessment at the beginning of the year, others along the way and then an end of the course assessment. They would create a rubric to track student progress. This would involve additional professional development time but their assessments would cost a fraction of what MAP does and take up less class time. They believe they could do this even this year.
Imagine that - teachers assessing your child's abilities at one point in time and then at others and measuring progress. It sounds like something they might have been hired to do. It sounds like what they do with AP courses. Those of us who have had experience with these kinds of rubric or even student portfolios know how valuable this information can be and it can precisely pinpoint weaknesses and strengths.