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School Beat: Seattle Teachers Take a Stand for Students

lisa Schiffbyline‚ Jan. 24‚ 2013

Yesterday afternoon Seattle public school teachers rallied as part of their now two-week boycott of a standardized test used by their district, the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). The entire teaching staff, of Garfield High School, supported by the school’s PTSA and by the Seattle Education Association, has refused to administer MAP based on serious flaws with the test that have been a longstanding source of concern by teachers and parents. Previous objections to MAP did not result in the district suspending its use, so these teachers have taken a courageous step to protect their students and use resources on meaningful educational activities.

The problems Garfield’s teachers have surfaced regarding MAP are typical of the weaknesses we see with so many standardized tests, and are eloquently described by Garfield teacher Jesse Hagopian in a recent Seattle Times opinion piece. The more stark enumeration of flaws revealed in this December 21, 2012 critique should ring familiar to all parents, students and educators, including: