Two members of the Seattle Shadow School Board will tomorrow (Friday 6 August 2010) file an appeal of the Seattle Public School Board’s July decision to renew the contract with NWEA, providers of the MAP test, which is in the process of being rolled out for use throughout the District.

SPS parents Cecilia McCormick and Joan Sias assert that the Board acted in a capricious and arbitrary manner in voting for the extension, recommended by Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson.   They are concerned that in spending another $450,000 in a severely curtailed budget:

  • the Board did not inform itself fully of the merits and demerits of the MAP,
  • that the required procurement policies were not followed, with the Superintendent’s staff inappropriately allotting sole source status to NWEA (a concern also expressed by the State Auditor in its critique of district practices),
  • that the Superintendent sits on the Board of NWEA and did not disclose that conflict of interest until after the District had already spent $4.3million in purchasing the testing software initially,
  • that the MAP test disadvantages non-English speaking students, special education students, minority and low-income children,
  • that the MAP test does not provide reliable results that teachers can use to make informed instructional decisions  and
  • that the MAP test will be used inappropriately for evaluating teacher performance, as per the Superintendent’s proposed SERVE contract with teachers.

Ms McCormick and Ms Sias will file the appeal at 11.45am, 6th Floor, King County Court House. The Seattle School District will be served later in the day.