Wednesday, January 30, 2013

More MAP Boycott Support

 Update:
This post from EdVoices by Seattle parent, Sue Peters, on why she doesn't support MAP.

Via Diane Ravitch's blog:

- Australian teachers chime in.
- I haven't seen the letter but Ingraham teachers have apparently notified the Superintendent of their support for the boycott.
- by the numbers, 38 teachers at Chief Sealth have joined the MAP boycott, 8 support it and 2 abstained.
- op-ed from Garfield student in Crosscut 
- I hadn't heard much from elementary teachers but one did write to me and sent along her letter to the Superintendent.  There were the usual complaints about time from instruction, library shut-down, missed services and then there was this:

"I had a 2nd grader tell me how much better her score was than her peers.  When I asked her how she knew she said she had listened in as the librarian reported them to her peers."

That should NOT be happening and even Michael Tolley admitted at the press conference that the district needed to be giving more guidance to teachers and staff over the MAP.  I'd think one of the first things is to NOT announce the scores outloud to students and encourage students to keep them private.  

- High school students in Oregon are organizing their own opt-out

“We need more community based schools and better relationships between students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Schools should not be being evaluated based on student’s standardized test scores, but rather a 360 portfolio evaluation which includes feedback from people who are directly involved with the school. A test score cannot give someone the same insight to a school as a discussion with students, teachers, and parents can.” says Lincoln Senior Alexia Garcia. “The ideal solution would be to eliminate high stakes standardized testing and replace it with a more comprehensive evaluation system developed by the community.”

Meanwhile, the Times just can't stop itself and has yet another editorial on the boycott. 

The MAP boycott is puzzling, coming as the district, and presumably teachers, are hoping voters agree to raise their taxes to provide a total of $1.2 billion in levies for Seattle schools in the Feb. 12 election. 

Well, as Charlie points out, no is isn't bad timing - it's just when the MAP is given.  That there is an election is not the teachers fault (and, at the same time, is unlikely to have any effect).  And, this is not new.  The teachers have been complaining and asking the district to talk about MAP for years.

The Times also either didn't do its homework (very possible) or doesn't want to tell readers this but they complain that the teachers should have said something at a different time (they have) and/or wait for contract negotiations.

Then, they get to it:

All of this may be just union flexing. One union official encouraged teachers to support the boycott to show district leadership the union is united and ready to be a powerful force in the upcoming contract negotiations. 

Again, the Times doesn't know/realize that the union is following on this issue, not leading.

They also, falsely, claim this testing started with "one of Seattle's most beloved education figures", John Stanford.   I'd like to see their proof but I'm with Charlie; the biggest push for this came from Maria Goodloe-Johnson who came long after Superintendent Stanford. 

Using students to advance workplace issues is dishonest. 

Really, and what about using the only daily newspaper in the state to advance an agenda without providing full information to the readers?  Oh pot, it's the kettle calling.

As we hurtle towards February, it would seem that this will all come to a head at some point.  

4 comments:

Bruce Taylor said...

If you follow Seattle Public Schools closely, it's easy to get frustrated. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking under a black cloud, with only my tin-foil hat to keep me dry.

So I was very heartened to read this paragraph near the end of Charlie Mas' awesome rebuttal of the Times' latest idiotic editorial:

From the time that Dr. Goodloe-Johnson was fired the District has been working to un-do every one of her horrible wrong decisions. They are re-opening the schools she closed. They are restoring the departments, programs, and classes she destroyed. They are reversing the rigid standardization she imposed in the name of alignment. They are clearing out the nest of vipers she hired onto the staff. They are canceling the personal services contracts she gave away to friends. They are imposing the financial controls she removed. They are replacing the culture of fear she installed.

Charlie, thank you for this reminder that we are moving in the right direction. We may not be moving fast enough, but consider how much worse the situation would be If Maria Goodloe-Johnson was still here, and if SPS was headed in the direction Lynne Varner wants.

Mark Ahlness said...

The insanity continues... just heard that the Jan/Feb MAP for Kindergarten is now optional. K used to be the only grade where it was required 3 times a year. The optional MAP for everybody else was in the fall - and many teachers gave it then, because it was much more meaningful than the mid-year test, which was required. Confused? I wrote out a longer explanation here.

Josh Hayes said...

Here's one more data point: my usual math class today did not happen, because the seventh graders were running late on MAP testing, meaning the other math teacher was stuck in the library proctoring his seventh grade math class. The resulting cascade of delay screwed up a good solid hour of school for EVERY middle-school grade kid at the school. And for what?

Anonymous said...

Thornton Creek sent a letter of support of the Garfield teachers last week.

-Parent who is glad to see professional teachers sticking together!