For the record, from the teacher’s union in Seattle, the Seattle Education Association.

The Seattle Education Association (SEA) supports all of our teachers in wanting to provide the best learning environment for Seattle’s students. Garfield teachers want to do just that. The concerns of using the MAP test are not new ones for our teachers and they are not new for the district. Over the last couple of years, SEA has communicated to the School District administration the concerns that teachers have:

  • The test does not line up with state standards.
  • The test does not line up with district curriculum.
  • The test takes valuable time away from student learning.
  • Many students do not take the test seriously.
  • The testing timeframe takes valuable time away from students in the school being able to access computer labs and libraries for other projects.
  • The data obtained is of minimal use to teachers in planning lessons and meeting individual student needs.

We have been trying to get the district to look at alternatives that are more aligned to the SPS curriculum and state standards. After raising issues of the time the MAP test takes to administer, SEA was successful in getting the district to reduce the required number of times that it is given. SEA President Jonathan Knapp stated, “Our members continually raise their concerns about this test. The Garfield action is the latest. We have to have a commitment from the district regarding an end date for the use of this test.”

Knapp said, “Teacher and parent concerns over the MAP are symbolic of the larger concern over the role of testing in Washington’s public schools. Across the state, parents and educators are raising questions about the cost and time spent on testing, in particular the amount of time testing takes from actual student learning.” “The overemphasis on testing is a broader, statewide issue that affects all students and all educators,” he said. “It’s a debate that will continue when the Legislature starts Jan. 14.”

“We need to know how much time and money is spent on tests that don’t necessarily improve student learning — like the MAP,” Knapp said.