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Thu Jan 24, 2013, 01:50 PM

Battle in Seattle. Teachers take stand against high-stakes test. Could get suspensions.

Last edited Thu Jan 24, 2013, 02:38 PM - Edit history (1)

They are standing up for the right of students to be tested on what they are taught in the classroom. The MAP test (Measure of Academic Progress) is not based on their curriculum. Teachers have no idea what is on it until test time.

First Chicago, now Seattle...teachers are making their voices heard.

The Battle in Seattle

The courageous action taken by teachers at Seattle's Garfield High School has won growing support and admiration, not only from the city's teachers, parents and students, but from teachers nationwide. Their announced refusal on January 10th to administer the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP), a poorly-constructed, high-stakes, standardized test, has once again brought national attention to disastrous testing-madness policies being pushed and enforced for the past 12 years under No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top.

The unanimous vote taken by the Garfield teachers to boycott the MAP has already garnered local support from teachers at Ballard High, Chief Sealth High, Ballard's Salmon Bay K-8, Orca K-8 and other Seattle area schools. Yesterday, rallying teachers at the Board of Ed heard a message of support from Chicago Teachers Union V.P. Jesse Sharkey who told the crowd: "Sisters and brothers... There's only one way forward: Stick together and fight."

More on this battle from the SLOG blog.

Teacher Rally Packs the School Board Meeting, School District Threatens Teachers with Suspension

Little kids in winter hats and parkas held hands, older folks waved signs. "I'd rather be teaching," read one. "Parent supports Garfield," read another. The vice president of the Chicago teachers union, Jesse Sharkey, called in, and his speech was shouted out to the crowd. "Sisters and brothers... There's only one way forward: Stick together and fight." Teachers learned today, in emergency after-school staff meetings, that they could be subject to 10-day suspensions without pay if they did not administer the test, according to Garfield teacher Jesse Hagopian. "They say we're disruptive?" Hagopian called out, right outside the closed doors of the school board meeting. "I think a test that is not aligned to my curriculum is disruptive. Threatening teachers with 10 days without pay is disruptive." The rally ended with a hearty rendition of "SCRAP THE MAP! SCRAP THE MAP!" before leaders reminded everyone to be respectful, and most of the group crowded into the meeting.

..."To recap: On Thursday, January 10, Garfield high school teachers called a press conference to announce that, "in perhaps the first instance anywhere in the nation," they were universally refusing to administer the district-mandated standardized test, calling it "counterproductive" and a waste of "time, money, and precious school resources." Seattle Public Schools superintendent José Banda's response has been to announce a task force to "discuss concerns and find solutions" regarding the MAP test and then to tell teachers they are still required to administer it. A couple of other schools have since joined in, further schools have voted to "support" the boycott, and other organizations have voiced their support as well—PTSAs, Garfield High School's Associated Student Body, the school district's student senate, the Seattle Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, Parents Across America Seattle, and more.

The two most salient concerns, though there are many others, seem to be (1) that the test was sold to the district while the sitting superintendent of schools, Maria Goodloe-Johnson, was on the board of the company that sold the test, which she did not divulge at the time, and (2) that the gains students are expected to make on the tests—at least at the high school level—are actually within the margin of error of the test grading, which makes the MAP appear pretty much statistically useless

Maria Goodloe-Johnson was one of the Broad Superintendents. They are known for their aggressiveness toward teachers.

The standardized high-stake tests which are being used to close schools and fire teachers....are developed secretly. Teachers and students have no idea what is on the test nor do they have any idea how to prepare for them.

These tests are money-makers for the developers and the companies that score them, they are not good for the education system.

My thought is they had to paint the public schools as failures before they could turn them over to private companies.

Good for the teachers in Seattle.

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Reply Battle in Seattle. Teachers take stand against high-stakes test. Could get suspensions. (Original post)
madfloridian Jan 2013 OP
madfloridian Jan 2013 #1
madfloridian Jan 2013 #2
emsimon33 Jan 2013 #3

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 02:43 PM

1. Bill Gates a big funder of the MAP.

Bill Gates big funder of the MAP tests.

""UPDATE: We have heard that the Gates “gift” is funding the new computerized, standardized “MAP” tests the district is administering this year to all students, from as young as kindergarten to grade 9. MAP stands for “Measures of Academic Progress™” (yes, it is a trademarked product) and will be administered to the kids three times during the school year. The test can take as much as two hours each session, according to the district’s official announcement letter."

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 06:53 PM

2. Testing students on things they have not studied...

an easy way to cause school failures and teacher firings.

People should care.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 10:53 PM

3. Bill Gates is a major threat to U.S. democracy

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