Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rebellion in Seattle

I'm behind on posting updates on this one!
A boycott of the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test at Garfield High School in Seattle announced last week by teachers has now spread to several other Seattle schools:
Eleven teachers at ORCA K-8, a Seattle alternative school, are boycotting along with the Garfield teachers, and some at Salmon Bay K-8 are considering doing the same.  Teachers at other Seattle schools also have sent letters of support for the protesting teachers, as have a number of other groups.  They include the Garfield PTSA, the Garfield High student government, the Seattle Student Senate, the Seattle Education Association and Parents Across America’s Seattle chapter.
A statement supporting the boycott was released over the weekend by nationally-known education leaders, including Jonathan Kozol, Yong Zhao, Karen Lewis, Brian Jones, Nancy Carlsson-Paige and a growing list of others; you can sign a petition in support here.
One of the teachers boycotting wrote a column explaining why:

Seattle’s ninth- and 10th-grade students already take five state-required standardized tests, with 11th- and 12th-graders taking three. Seattle Public Schools staff admitted to a Garfield teacher the MAP test is not valid at the high-school level, because the margin of error is greater than expected gains.
In addition, teachers are forbidden to see contents of the MAP test so they can’t prepare students. Teachers who have looked over the shoulders of students taking the test can tell you that it asks questions students are not expected by state standards to learn until later grades.
If you are in the Seattle area, there is a rally tomorrow in support of the teachers.

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