Below is a thoughtful letter one teacher at one high school sent home with 9th grade students to try to give parents an idea of what is going on with MAP testing. It is informative and seeks to allow a conversation should parents want to have one.
Have you received such a letter? Has your PTA weighed in at all?
I note that some in the media (see the Times) try to make this all about Garfield and while they started it and are the most visible, it is quite clear this is very widespread. If Families & Ed dollars were not tied to middle school activities, I'd bet some of the middle schools would have joined as well.
Dear Families of 9th graders,
Sometime in February, your 9th
grader will have the opportunity to take the MAP tests in Reading and
Math. You may be aware of the controversy surrounding the MAP test that
began with teachers at Garfield High School announcing a boycott. For
those of you who are not aware of the controversy, or who may be aware
but may feel short on facts, we wanted to provide you with a list of
resources so that you and your student may choose a course of action,
based on being fully informed, that is best for you and your family.
This list is nowhere near comprehensive, but it will get you started.
Seattle Public Schools information website
a list of objections to the MAP test, please see SEA’s (Seattle
Education Association) statement:
Organizations that support the boycott:
University of Washington (This blog notes this is a chapter of UW professors who support the boycott, not all of UW).
Chicago Teachers Union
FOR the MAP tests
Sometime this month, our principal will
pick up your students and take them to the computer lab. Your student
will have the following choices:
1. Go to the computer lab, take
the test, take it seriously and do the best they can. I will use the
resulting data for planning purposes. Or…
2. Go to the computer lab, take the test, and don’t take it seriously. Time is wasted, and there is no useful data.
3. Remain in the classroom (do not take the test) and work on our current unit. No time wasted. No test data.
of these are valid courses of action. We just want to be sure that
whatever your student decides to do is based on being as fully informed
as possible, and having had a conversation with you. We will honor
every family’s choice.