Dearborn Park teachers support MAP boycott

Here is a letter from 17 teachers and staff members at Dearborn Park Elementary to Superintendent Banda in support of the teachers boycotting the MAP:

January 30, 2013

Jose Banda
Office of the Superintendent
MS: 32-150
P.O. Box 34165
Seattle, WA 98124-1165

Dear Superintendent Banda:

We, the undersigned teachers and staff at Dearborn Park Elementary School, are writing to voice our concerns about the Seattle School District’s use of the MAP assessment. The teachers at Garfield High School did us all an important service when they announced that they were boycotting the test this winter. The MAP assessment takes valuable resources of teaching time, computer lab access, and district money away from where it is most needed. The MAP test provides little to teachers in the way of guidance on the needs of students, and it does not reflect or assess what students are actually learning on a day-to-day basis in class. In addition, the MAP assessment is being used as part of the teacher evaluation system, which runs contrary to the intention and design of the test.

While we have chosen to administer the MAP test to our students at Dearborn Park this winter, we do not want you or others to assume that this means that we support the use of this test or, more importantly, the ways in which it is being utilized to evaluate students and their teachers. Additionally, we stand in opposition to any measures to punish or retaliate against the teachers at Garfield, Orca K-8, or any of the other schools that have joined the boycott. As you well know, teachers have many responsibilities in their jobs, but none higher than the duty to speak out and advocate for their students. The Garfield teachers took a brave and important step when they decided to call attention to the ways in which standardized testing has come to damage our students’ education. Instead of punishing teachers who speak up, you should be working with them to restore some sanity to our educational system.


                                                The following Dearborn Park Elementary
                                                teachers and staff


Anonymous said…
Thornton Creek wrote a similar one that was delivered last week.
- glad to support teachers who support our kids
Anonymous said…
"Instead of punishing teachers who speak up, you should be working with them to restore some sanity to our educational system."

Hattie in "Visible Learning for Teachers" demonstrates that the way to improve academic performance at a school is to put the decision-making in the hands of the teachers. He outlines the type of training needed to transform a school to a school where continuous incremental improvement occurs. .... but nothing like this is apparently on the horizon in Seattle or WA state.

Treating teachers like professionals is not in vogue.

We are watching the legislation of one size fits all, in which equal outcomes for all has become the goal.

Until the focus is on providing the maximum opportunity for each student to maximize their talents, abilities, and interests, many children will be abused by the insane educational system.

Thanks for speaking up Dearborn Park teachers.... are Olympia politicians listening? Is the Board listening? Is Banda listening?

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Equal outcomes was never the goal. Our current assessment scheme is designed to maintain the status quo which is unequal outcomes. If we can create assessments that prove that some students deserve a content free education - mired in remediation, skills acquisition at the expense of content and meaning - so much the better. Dearborn Park teachers support the MAP? Are they giving it? If so, that's not much support.

Unknown said…
Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning

In November 2008, John Hattie’s ground-breaking book Visible Learning synthesised the results of more than fifteen years research involving millions of students and represented the biggest ever collection of evidence-based research into what actually works in schools to improve learning.

Visible Learning for Teachers takes the next step and brings those ground breaking concepts to a completely new audience. Written for students, pre-service and in-service teachers, it explains how to apply the principles of Visible Learning to any classroom anywhere in the world.

The author offers concise and user-friendly summaries of the most successful interventions and offers practical step-by-step guidance to the successful implementation of visible learning and visible teaching in the classroom.

This book:

links the biggest ever research project on teaching strategies to practical classroom implementation
champions both teacher and student perspectives and contains step by step guidance including lesson preparation, interpreting learning and feedback during the lesson and post lesson follow up offers checklists, exercises, case studies and best practice scenarios to assist in raising achievement includes whole school checklists and advice for school leaders on facilitating visible learning in their institution now includes additional meta-analyses bringing the total cited within the research to over 900
comprehensively covers numerous areas of learning activity including pupil motivation, curriculum, meta-cognitive strategies, behaviour, teaching strategies, and classroom management.

Visible Learning for Teachers is a must read for any student or teacher who wants an evidence based answer to the question; ‘how do we maximise achievement in our schools?’

Keep in mind that Common Core State Standards are NOT evidence based. The current direction of education being pushed top down is in many cases ill-advised.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Dear Watching,

"Equal Outcomes" is an impossibility and is not desirable.

Yet the egalitarian goal of Equal Outcomes is the current thrust. Is it realistic or desirable that "all students" be required to successfully complete Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2?

As you point out universal requirements leave far too many students mired in remediation ... rather than receiving an appropriate education.

The coming hyper-academic thrust beginning in pre-school is totally age inappropriate for most children.

-- Dan Dempsey

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