Monday, February 04, 2013

Support the MAP Boycott on Wednesday

Wear Red to Support Ed this Wednesday, Feb. 6th.

Scrap the Map! list of actions that day.   In Seattle actions will take place at participating schools, including Garfield, Orca, Chief Sealth, and Center School.  Scrap the Map Facebook page.https://www.facebook.com/events/366568146775772/

How to opt your child out (from our friends at the Seattle Education blog).   Flyer on other actions.

Some of the prominent organizations and individuals that have expressed their support for the Seattle MAP test boycott:  National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), San Diego Education Association, UTLA Board of Directors, Parents Across America, Des Moines, Iowa Education Association, Diane Ravitch, Garfield High School PTSA, Garfield HS Associated Student Body,  Dr. Wayne Au, Dexter Tang, President of Seattle Student Senate,  Matt Damon & his mother Dr. Nancy Carlsson-Paige,  Seattle Education Association (SEA), The SEA Substitute Association, and Social Equality Educators (SEE).

Just added, the Seattle Chapter of the NAACP.

"Without question or hesitation, I stand with the teachers, students, and parents at Garfield HS as they resist these unjust, soul-crushing standardized tests. This is not a Garfield issue. It's a discussion in every public high school across the United States. We should all applaud and raise our fists for the people at Garfield and remember them forever as the first to stand up."
1968 Olympic medalist and protestor, Dr. John W. Carlos.


suep. said...

For two days in a row the Seattle Times has printed short articles about the latest organizations or groups to support the MAP protest -- Ballard High and NAACP. But, for both articles the number of Comments listed is left blank, indicating zero commentary, zero interest in these news stories, which, of course, is false.

Seems like the Times is trying to have it both ways: report on the growing MAP protest (somewhat), but attempting to quash the legitimate interest and debate sparked by the protest. Since when is it the role of a newspaper to hide debate?

For the record, right now there are 18 comments on the NAACP article and 83 comments on the Ballard High School story.

May seem a minor detail, but there seems to be a pattern here. Not too long ago, the Times ran one of its few anti-charter articles with a glaring typo in the headline ("charger" schools), effectively making the article un-Google-able.

Anonymous said...

Just in from Garfield - Banda has ordered, late Monday afternoon, that the administrative staff at GHS give the MAP Tuesday, February 5th - tomorrow.

Garfield HS PTSA
February 4, 2013
An Important Message from our PTSA President....

The Board of the PTSA was surprised and chagrined to learn that the School District Superintendent has ordered the administrative staff of Garfield to administer the MAP tests Tuesday, February 5. Students will be pulled out of classes and sent to the computer lab and library to take the test. We are very disappointed that the Superintendent has decided to escalate the conflict over the MAP tests in this manner.

We were heartened by the Superintendent's announcement last week that a broadly representative task force was being immediately convened to review the standardized testing issues and options and to come up with recommendations. The Superintendent had also started discussions with the teachers at Garfield which was another positive step. We do not understand why the Superintendent would compromise those encouraging steps by the peremptory order for the school principal and his staff to administer the tests.

The Superintendent has yet to respond to the questions the teachers and parents have raised about the tests. But yet the tests are going forward on an emergency basis.

This conflict over the tests does not need to be further inflamed. As parents, we want an air of normality at the school with the adults modeling to the students a rational deliberative process for resolving an important issue. We think the task force being planned is a good step in that direction. Let's all put our attention there.

Phil Sherburne
PTSA President

Garfield Parent SSS Reader

suep. said...

This is bad news. Supt. Banda needs to diffuse this, not escalate it.

Garfield parents should opt their kids out of MAP en masse.

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that MAP is really the sword Banda wants to fall on? Well hop right on it then! Idiotic!


Anonymous said...

Garfield staffers and families, hold your ground! Teach peaceful protest. I can't think of an easier to teach that than refusing to participate in this thing.


Anonymous said...

All together now!!!!! Supporting GHS all the way!

-MAPless in Seattle

Eric M said...

Well, it takes guts to go all-in while holding a pair of threes, Mr. Banda. I'll give you that.

Sahila said...

So, which astro-turf CEO has been whispering in Banda's ear, and what was said, what ultimatum was laid down, that caused him to abandon good sense and decide to escalate this by stepping around the 'rebellious' teachers and parents?

Hard to think this man would be stupid enough to take this course of action just to assert his authority - it makes him look like an untrustworthy, foolish, shortsighted bully...

Time for another Freedom of Information request for copies of all correspondence between Banda, school district staff and the MAP company, A4E, OSC, S4C, et al...

suep. said...

NEW - Petition to cancel the MAP® test in Seattle Public Schools

Please sign and pass it on.

Also: Updates on Garfield standoff here: Action Alert! Seattle Supe forcing teachers to give MAP test today: Please sign the petition to cancel the MAP test in Seattle

Apparently opt-out letters are pouring in.

Sahila said...

Scrap the MAP actions need to be brought forward a day.... is that possible?

dw said...

The timing of this is really unfortunate. My opinion is that Banda is putting together the committee in good faith, and that as a result there will be some kind of reduction or removal of MAP in our district in the near future. Building a committee and using relevant data (yes Dan D.) to make decisions, rather than responding to whichever side yells the loudest at any given moment, is the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, Banda is not getting the chance to prove whether or not he can do this.

Hard to think this man would be stupid enough to take this course of action just to assert his authority - it makes him look like an untrustworthy, foolish, shortsighted bully...

No it doesn't. It makes him look like a leader who has been backed into a corner at a very inopportune time.

Ignoring or rewarding blatant insubordination is a very, very dangerous course of action, and could be used against him later by powerful people that might want him removed. Would you really want to risk having him replaced by a strong ed-deformer (to use your terminology)?

Anonymous said...

The biggest loser from this MAP fracas is Superintendent Banda. Much has been made of the MAP boycottt in the news. The heavy media coverage has embolden those who oppose MAP. While I think that's terrific, do you ever stop and ask why there is so much media coverage NOW to drive this momentum? Why not under Dr. Goodloe-Johnson or Enfield? Why not under the old school board? And is MAP really THE important issue right now considering all else that is going on presently?

Mr. Banda will lose much political capital no matter what he does at this point. It's too bad because this district really needed an independent Super who can navigate these trecherous time. No one is going to make this easy for him. Not the SEA, not the downtown cabal, ed refromers, the ST editorial boards, some members of the school board, nor parents. His lose will be full ammunition to those who want to paint this district incompetent and use it for their own gains, ripe for a mayoral takeover, more decisive (as in unanimous and different) school board, and more educational alternatives to public schools such as charters. It will allow the SEA to recover some public face loss and do nothing-ness and gain the appearance of power during next bargaining talk to its member while really doing nothing.

deep water

Sahila said...

DW....you contradict yourself....on the one hand you say building a committee etc is the right thing for him to do, and on the other that he can't afford to be seen as weak and must sabotage that community involvement... who, if s/he really is genuine and committed to collaborative problem solving and respects the other parties involved in the issue, derails the process by taking such hardline, pre-emptive action?

And I'd rather he listens to those who are attempting to dialogue with him in public (teachers, parents and community members), than be the puppet of those who whisper in bis ear in private.... doing it this way makes him no better than MGJ....

suep. said...

@ dw - But why did Supt Banda choose to escalate this even further by switching his deadline for administering the test from Feb 23 to today, and all of a sudden?

My understanding is that some good faith efforts have been going on between the Garfield teachers and Supt. Banda to resolve this peacefully.

This sudden ultimatum undermines those efforts. A clumsy move on his part. I suspect that a fear of failing levies may be driving some of these hardball tactics. But bullying does not equal leadership, as we all learned from the Goodloe-Johnson days.

@ deep water -- The MAP opposition has been building for the last two years. When I met with Mr. Banda back in October, I told him that MAP was a problem, and sent him a fair bit of info on it.

This did not come out of the blue.

There is still a chance for Supt. Banda to show leadership of a diplomatic and constructive vein. MAP should clearly be canned for high school and shelved soon everywhere else. Think of what our district could do with all the time and money we would save.

And Supt. Banda could make a bold and visionary statement to lead Seattle off the national ed reform treadmill of endless testing.

The teachers' grievances are legitimate, and shared by parents like myself.

Anonymous said...

For Mr. Banda, MAP is a perfect wedge issue. Many parents who are in the know hated it and many teachers see little use for it, especially if it's going to be a part of their eval. His back is as DW puts it is in a corner. That is where many wants him to be as he has proven to be more independent and less servile. MAP has been in used for at least 4 years now and withstood the terms of 2 superintendents and a more united school board. So why now? There are so many pressing issues such as the levies, the overcrowding issue and poor buildings that need to be replaced or fixed up, the program/transportation mish-mash and the up and coming CB.

I got the sense MAP was on its way out even before the media blast. There were talks about cost effctiveness and usage- limiting testing to 1-2x/ year and at what grade. I don't think MAP is a priority issue right now. I may not like MAP, but I don't think having my children taking it till the end of this school year will harm them. What will harm them more is the overstuffed buildings, the uncertainly of what schools they will go to, the lack of curricula alignment, large class size, cuts to nursing and counseling staff, etc.

Lastly, sorry about my bad grammar with the previous posting and in this one. Writing in English is my bane and sinks me every time I do it in a rush. It makes me envious of great writers and want my children to do it well and wish they do more of it (where they can be corrected) in school.

deep water

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the district's timeline on the task force? That's a short time between the deadline (Monday at noon) and the first meeting (Thursday night).


Anonymous said...

When MAP first came out, it was not yet being used in teacher evaluations. It is now. Parents and teachers also have more years of data to evaluate its worth.

suep. said...
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suep. said...
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suep. said...

deep water said... (...) MAP has been in used for at least 4 years now and withstood the terms of 2 superintendents and a more united school board. So why now?

The momentum to can MAP has been building for the past two years. It has also taken this long for parents to see how erratic the scores are (the "recalibration" fiasco probably helped).

And the district has been exacerbating the problems with MAP by using it for more and more purposes, for which it is invalid. Enough people have seen the damage or frustration this can cause.

Using it to evaluate teachers now effectively makes MAP a high-stakes test for both the teachers and our kids. MAP is no longer being used as a tool -- it is being used as a barrier and bludgeon.

Also, and importantly, Goodloe-Johnson herself was the problem. MAP was just one part her whole damaging agenda.

Now that she is gone, we are fine-tuning what else needs to go from our district. MAP is one of these vestiges.

Enfield got embroiled in her own issues, including the Teach for America, Inc. fiasco and of course the principal firing scandal. (That helped bring in a new, more reasonable, board majority, so we kind of have her to thank for that. But I digress.)

Supt. Banda is not the problem. He is the unlucky inheritor of some bad policies from his predecessors. But he has a chance to correct things and I believe he will. By demonstrating that there is widespread lack of confidence, trust and value in MAP, we can help him end it and change the priorities in this district to become more kid-centric and respectful of teachers.

Please sign the petition to cancel MAP in SPS.


dw said...

@Sahila I'd rather he listens to those who are attempting to dialogue with him in public (teachers, parents and community members), than be the puppet of those who whisper in bis ear in private.... doing it this way makes him no better than MGJ....

Oh FFS, if you're really saying he's no better than MGJ, I don't think that even deserves a response. Remember, he was not the choice of the movers and shakers in this city; that is unlikely to change. Sahila, you bring so many good bits of data to the table, I wish you wouldn't say things like this that erode your credibility. We don't know yet where Banda stands, and we won't likely know for a while. As these things continue to play out, we will eventually get the real picture of Banda and his team.

I'm glad to see others understand the difficult position Banda is in right now. It's easy to jump to conclusions after the poor leadership of the past few years, and I'm still in the wait-and-see camp with Banda, willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

However, back on topic, suep brings up an interesting point. Did Banda unilaterally move up the testing dates? I'm not sure if he did or not. I did hear very clearly that the opt-out notes could be sent in until the 22nd, but I was not under the impression that the testing wouldn't actually begin until after that (although I'm not sure about this part). Was there a different (published) schedule prior to this week?

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