From The Stranger Slog:
"..the boycotting teachers state that the district has failed to respond, point by point, to the list of criticisms levied at the MAP test. Furthermore, teachers say it's unclear if the district’s effort to undermine the boycott will be successful because students seem to hate the tests as much as teachers. "Indications early this morning are that there is wide spread 'opting out' of the test by students," their press release states. "For the first hour, only nine students are in the testing center. Sixty students were signed up to use the library but were displaced. Typically 90 students use the library before school and at lunch. These students are not allow access during testing."
Janet Woodward, Garfield’s librarian, said, “I’m sorry about all the students who are being displaced. It makes me sad.”
Good for those students and their parents.
Also this from the University of Washington chapter of the Association of University Professors:
[W]e support the decision of teachers at Garfield, Ballard, Sealth, the Center School, Orca K-8 and other Seattle Public Schools who have decided to refuse to administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP®), a standardized test that has been imposed despite teachers' principled objections on pedagogic grounds. In keeping with our organization's commitment to faculty oversight of academic matters, AAUP-UW contends that teachers should be regarded as educated professionals fully qualified to advise the School District with regards to assessment of students learning. AAUP-UW therefore calls upon the Seattle Public Schools superintendent to work with teachers to develop a more adequate measure of student progress, and opposes punitive measures against Seattle teachers who are boycotting the MAP test.
Bravo to the idea that teachers are "educated professionals."
End of update.
The Superintendent issued this statement which has a few puzzlers in it. My comments in red.
Dear Garfield staff and families:
I want to thank you for sharing your concerns about MAP assessments. After careful consideration of what is in the best interest of all of our students across the district, I have asked schools to proceed with administering the MAP assessment as scheduled. (I don't know if this means the administrators will give the test or if they are ordering the teachers and seeing what happens. Update: checked with Communications. They hired some subs to give the test but some administrators may be as well.)
I have met with Garfield High School staff on two separate occasions to listen to their concerns and the important issues they raise regarding the limitations of the MAP assessment. While I feel the teachers at Garfield are sincere in their efforts to postpone the administration of the MAP, I also have a strong obligation to the students and parents of this school district to ensure we are measuring student progress in a consistent manner across all schools. (I was not aware the Superintendent had met with teachers; they have said he didn't. Teachers?)
The MAP assessment is administered to over 6 million students across the nation and in 209 school districts with in Washington State. Thousands of educators find the MAP data useful in determining student progress. Using the MAP assessment, combined with other measures, helps us to identify students who are achieving at various levels, regardless of the grade, allowing us to provide additional support or perhaps more challenging curriculum. In partnership with the City of Seattle, Office of Education, MAP results are also used to measure the effectiveness of programs we implement through the Family and Education Levy. (I appreciate that MAP is used across the country. It doesn't make it a good test and I believe if our teachers have serious issues with it, I would go with their opinion.) (I also question how often MAP results bring more attention to any given student.)
The district acted in good faith to address the concerns raised by the Garfield High School staff and other educators in Seattle Public Schools. This is why I set into motion a task force comprised of teachers, principals and community representatives. The goal of this task force is to engage in thoughtful, collaborative conversations in an effort to land on a solution that will benefit our students. The task force will review the MAP assessment in its present iteration and review the landscape of a comprehensive system of assessments that will lead us into the future as we implement the Common Core State Standards. Throughout this process we will be seeking input from parents and educators via survey to ensure we hear multiple perspectives. I will look to this task force to provide recommendations regarding the future of MAP assessments.
I remain hopeful that we will continue to work together in support of our students. I look forward to future conversations with our staff and community about assessments and other important topics.
End of statement
But one last thing (and I hope to tell the Superintendent this at some point) - we have had MANY taskforces and committees. I would say, just off the top of my head, that most of their work is for naught and the Board and district don't follow most of what is recommended. (This is one reason that while I truly understand and appreciate the hard work of FACMAC, they are learning what others of us know - the district won't always go with what any given committee says.)