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Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:39 PM

Movement to End High-Stakes Testing Steps Up in Seattle

from YES! Magazine:

Movement to End High-Stakes Testing Steps Up in Seattle
Teachers at two Seattle high schools violate district policy and their union contracts by refusing to administer a mandatory test. And signs abound that teachers around the nation are ready to stand up, too.

by Dean Paton
posted Jan 14, 2013

This story originally appeared at www.csmonitor.com.

Forty-five minutes after school let out Thursday afternoon, 19 teachers at Seattle's Garfield High School worked their way to the front of an already-crowded classroom, then turned, leaned their backs against the wall of whiteboards, and fired the first salvo of open defiance against high-stakes standardized testing in America's public schools.

To a room full of TV cameras, reporters, students, and colleagues, the teachers announced their refusal to administer a standardized test that ninth-graders across the district are mandated to take in the first part of January. Known as the MAP test—for Measures of Academic Progress—it is intended to evaluate student progress and skill in reading and math.

First one teacher, then another, and then more stepped forward to charge that the test wastes time, money, and dwindling school resources. It is also used to evaluate teacher quality.

“Our teachers have come together and agreed that the MAP test is not good for our students, nor is it an appropriate or useful tool in measuring progress,” said Kris McBride, academic dean and testing coordinator at Garfield High. “Additionally, students don’t take it seriously. It produces specious results and wreaks havoc on limited school resources during the weeks and weeks the test is administered.” ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/movement-end-high-stakes-testing-takes-stand-seatle

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Reply Movement to End High-Stakes Testing Steps Up in Seattle (Original post)
marmar Jan 2013 OP
denverbill Jan 2013 #1

Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:23 PM

1. "students don’t take it seriously". Therein lies the biggest problem with these tests.

The teacher's livelihood depends on something that makes no difference in the student's lives.

Give a kid detention, and he takes it out on you by deliberately screwing up the test. If a kid is pissed at you because he got a 'C' on his term paper, is he going to try to score well?

If these scores make no difference whether a student graduates, progresses to the next grade, gets into a good college, etc, then they shouldn't be used to judge teachers.

Hell, at least force them to take remedial classes during summer if they fail the test or something. There needs to be some penalty for not trying and/or deliberately screwing up the tests.

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