Sanislo Supports Garfield Teachers

...but they are not boycotting the MAP test.   Their letter to the Superintendent is both alloquent and heartfelt.

From the West Seattle blog comes this report about a letter sent to Superintendent Banda from the teachers at Sanislo:
We the staff at Sanislo Elementary, by a unanimous vote, write to express our support for Garfield High School’s decision to not administer the MAP test. We share many of their same concerns, including the impact on a struggling student’s esteem and the lack of usability of the results when given the current text adoptions. We similarly decry the loss of instructional time, the loss of computer lab access and the loss of instructional assistants who are used as test proctors, in addition to the financial costs of the subscription itself and the tech support for implementing it.
Garfield and all high school teachers find themselves in a Kafkaesque situation in which their employment (including career ladder and termination) will be determined by a test which district officials told them is invalid, since the margin of error can exceed the expected growth score. The collective bargaining agreement allows teachers to be put on ‘improvement plans’ if their test scores are low on two different tests. However, if one test is faulty, then in all fairness, this portion of the contract cannot be implemented.
Elementary teachers are approaching a similar situation, where the MAP test is not correlated with the standards we are required to teach. Common core standards are now taught in the classrooms so how reliable are this year’s MAP results and how useful will they be to elementary teachers since the test questions are not aligned with these new standards? Further, this misalignment will result in a false reading of student growth and those lower test scores will put elementary teachers in a Garfield-type predicament where a solid teacher could feel threatened due to faulty test results.
For these reasons, we urge you to recognize the Garfield teachers’ stance as an opportunity to correct an injustice initiated under a former administration and to publicly announce that no teacher will be put on plans of improvement as the result of test scores until such time as a statistically-reliable (and more humane) second measure of student growth is in place.
With Respect,
The Sanislo Elementary School Staff


suep. said…
That's a very well-written and poignant op-ed by Garfield teacher Jesse Hagopian. Bravo.
ws said…
go Sanislo! I wish Schmitz would join.
Seattle Amyloid said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric M said…
New youtube movie on the statistical problems with the MAP test.

It's a bit wonky, but, unfortunately, the devil is in the math details.
Anonymous said…
It is interesting that the letter has no mention of the well being of the students. Very interesting.

A friend
Anonymous said…
Cross posting a reader comment from "burb" from the Seattle Times Op-Ed on MAP:

...I will repost the MAP survey comments from teachers throughout the district, from June 2010. There are 80 pages.

The district's head of Research, Evaluation and Assessment at the time (not a statistician, not an assessment expert, he was a 'strategic planning' guy) did NOT share these with the school board. In fact he told them no surveys were conducted.

In the comments you will read frustration with, and desire to use MAP in a meaningful way. Teachers received little training on how to use MAP effectively, parents received very little information. But that's because it really wasn't intended to benefit the students. It was implemented (at great expense) to try to develop a teacher evaluation system from scratch. This effort has to date exceeded $10M in cost. And it still doesn't work. And it would only cover a fraction of teachers.

Seems alot of the posters have no clue about MAP's efficacy, the resources required to use this crappy test, and out district in general. I refuse to let my kid waste time on this junk.
mirmac1 said…
Anonymous, Sign your post w/ any name.... Or we can just say it's "burb"
mirmac1 said…
In other words, me.

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