SEA Calls for Elimination of the MAP Test in Seattle Schools

In a Seattle Educators’ Association (SEA) meeting last night, it was voted by the members to call for a replacement of the MAP test.

The resolution is as follows:

Whereas testing is not the primary purpose of education;

Whereas the MAP test and other tests increase student stress and anxiety and distract from real learning;

Whereas the MAP was brought into Seattle Schools under suspicious circumstances and conflicts of interest;

Whereas the SEA has always had the position of calling for funding to go to classroom and student needs first;

Whereas our Collective Bargaining Agreement mandates some testing but does not specify the MAP;

Whereas the new situation in our district is a ripe climate for focusing on education and not testing;

Whereas many board members and the new superintendent have repeatedly stated they wish to cut programs that don’t benefit students directly;

Be it Resolved that the SEA will make a formal statement to the School Board, the new Superintendent and the public that the MAP test should be scrapped and/or phased out and the resources saved be returned to the classroom.

Be it further resolved that the SEA will call for replacement of the MAP with other existing tests in order to give feedback to educators on student progress.

The Representative Assembly voted in a hand vote of approximately 80 to 20 for the resolution.

See The MAP for additional information.

And my testimony regarding MAP.


11 thoughts on “SEA Calls for Elimination of the MAP Test in Seattle Schools

  1. From another state but recently learned
    there were errors in the scoring of fall 2011 testing.
    I could not find any information anywhere on web about this

  2. Maureen,

    Unfortunately the Seattle Times and KUOW, even though they have education “reporters”, don’t seem to think that most of what goes on in our district is that important. They only bother to reprint press releases and whatever comes over the AP wires. It’s pathetic and why we stared this blog.

    SEA probably didn’t post it because it is not politically advantageous for the top leadership to do so. And by top leadership I don’t mean the board members in general. If you request the resolution from Olga or Jonathan they will probably provide it to you.

    If you want the actual copy of it in terms of what I received, I can provide that to you without the source being revealed.


  3. Has this story (about SEA and MAP) been reported anywhere other than here? I am looking for a link to the news (as opposed to opinion about it) that I can include in a survey of our school community regarding MAP. It doesn’t seem to be posted on the SEA website. (I may be linking to your MAP post as information opposed to MAP so don’t want to link here for the SEA news as well. ) Thanks!

  4. At some schools there is not enough staff to proctor the exam so parents have volunteered to sit in during the test taking time. From what I have heard, this might become part of the process, to request that parent volunteers come in and proctor the exam. A bit unprofessional and a questionable practice.

    Also, because the computers are usually in the library or in one case, adjacent to it, the library is closed to all students during the week of the MAP test. Giving the test three times in a school year then means that some students do not have access to the library for three weeks out of a school year. Is that learning? Has testing become so important that it takes away from other resources and opportunities to learn?


  5. I see that Cap Lee has some good points and that there could be some classroom use for it, but it’s a red flag to me that so many teachers are against it. Also, the enormous $4 million price tag! (Or is it more?) And my school is losing a teacher next year. :( :( :( And, I volunteer at the school helping the kids read, and every time the test comes around, we lose one whole week out of it. Is it worth it?

    Anyway, I think the bigger issue is that neither teachers nor parents have had any say so far as to whether and how the MAP test would be used. If it’s a tool for our use, we should all have that say.

  6. If a teacher needs immediate feedback, they give the students a quiz. It is not necessary to spend inordinate amounts of money and staff time to test a child three times a year for a teacher to know where their students are in terms of the material.

    That is not a good reason for that sort of test to be administered. Also, the teacher receives reams of paper in MAP test results that they are to go through to figure out where the student is. That is not efficient in terms of time and real cost to the district.

    It could be put to good use if at the end of each term a student takes the test so that the next teacher during the following term might have additional information regarding the child’s understanding of material but that’s it.

    Also, the MAP test is not aligned with the curriculum most of the time so your reasoning about providing the teacher with information about how a child is doing with the lessons is inaccurate.

    If the MAP test is aligned with the evaluation of a teacher, a principal or a school, it would create stress on the student. In Seattle that was the underlying reason for implementing the MAP test by our former superintendent, so that it could be used to evaluate a teacher’s performance. That is high stakes testing and that is not what we want for our children.


  7. The MAP test does what state tests don’t do. It gives immediate feedback to teachers. Those I have seen taking the test in Wisconsin have not shown stress especially because the purpose of the test is not to judge but to gather information. Assessment is only as good as the information gathered and its application to the education of the child. Eliminate the high stakes test and keep the MAP. And the hard part is to use the information gathered to be a “jumping off” spot for the childs next lesson. After this, you will realize that students are all over the place with their scores. After teachers verify levels in the classroom, then diversify. Kids blossom at different times. A system must be developed to allow this. Google the book Saving Students From A Shattered System to see how to change.

    The problem isn’t the MAP. It is how it is used. If it is used to pressure kids, don’t do it. If it is used as intended, it will provide a service to teachers. That should be the issue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s