Chief Sealth High School teachers boycott the MAP Test

ImageChief Sealth High School teachers just issued the following resolution:

Whereas, the students, parents, teachers & staff find the MAP test to be negatively costly in the amount of educational time, money and resources required for its administration;

Whereas, the Seattle Public Schools and its teachers already administer the HSPE, the End of Course exams, the DAPE, in addition to the many classroom-based assessments and placement tests in subject areas;

Whereas, we as educators are committed to eliminating the achievement gap and believe the expenditure of resources on the MAP would be more appropriately and effectively used in direct instruction and support of students;

Whereas, the MAP test is not a useful tool to inform instruction of secondary school students;

Whereas, the MAP test is not connected to our curricula;

Whereas, the MAP test has been re-purposed by district administration to form part of a teacher’s evaluation, which is contrary to the purposes it was designed for, as stated by its purveyor;

Whereas, the MAP test has also been re-purposed for student placement in courses and programs, for which it was not designed;

Whereas, the technology administration of the MAP test has serious flaws district wide, which wastes student’s time and makes them feel disrespected;

Whereas, the MAP test’s reported testing errors are greater than students’ expected growth;

Whereas, the MAP test is not taken seriously by students, and test scores are often wildly inconsistent, rendering them useless;

Whereas, the MAP test was purchased under circumstances that represented a conflict of interest (our former superintendent, while employed by Seattle Public Schools sat on the board of the NWEA, the purveyor of the MAP test, when the contract was signed. This was undisclosed to her employer.);

Whereas, the MAP test was and remains unwanted, unneeded and unsolicited by SPS professional classroom educators, those who work directly with students;

Be it resolved that we, the undersigned educators from Chief Sealth International High School do hereby support statements and actions of our colleagues at Garfield High School regarding the MAP test. Furthermore, we join our colleagues in their boycott and refuse to administer the MAP test to students at Chief Sealth International High School.

We join them in this stand in the interest of developing quality assessments that truly measure the education of our students over the long term; tests that are developed by teachers or with the input of teachers, are rigorous, fair, produce useful data and are respectful of all of our students.  We believe the MAP test program throughout the Seattle Public Schools ought to be eliminated immediately. It has been and continues to be counterproductive and an embarrassing mistake that breeds widespread student, staff and parent resentment;

Be it further resolved that we call on the Seattle Public Schools to include educators and the community in all future decisions regarding standardized testing and assessments.


  1. Dora
    Here is a letter I sent to the Sup

    Superintendent Banda
    I heard you speak last fall at the Washington State School Retirees’ Association luncheon and was impressed with your human approach to education. I feel you should sit down and have a heart to heart with the teachers involved in the MAP boycott. The teacher moral in Seattle was at its lowest when you arrived and as the leader of the Seattle Schools you are the one to bring everyone together and solve this problem as a team.

    Is the MAP test validated and if so, which reputable international or national testing association has certified it or recognized it as an appropriate test?
    Why is the Map being correlated with teacher effectiveness?

    I proctored the High School MAP test when it was first introduced in Seattle and found after two years of testing there was no solid data produced to identify student knowledge. In fact the results were so inconsistent many of the student’s scores were lower at the end of the year than at the beginning, while most showed little change. After a years worth of math classes there was no significant difference in school wide student progress as indicated by the MAP scores.

    Matt Chapman, CEO of Northwest Evaluation Association, is a businessman and has no real experience in education. Although there are some staff with an educational background most of the board members and officers in the company lack educational credentials. In fact most of the company has its expertise in marketing and business.

    As a volunteer I was exposed to more MAP insanity. Imagine you are a 5 year old Kindergarten student in your first week of school. You can’t read or write; yet you are given a math test via computer in which the questions are voiced over while you look at cryptically encoded problems on the screen. You then select a multiple choice letter which represents your answer. In another Kindergarten classroom students were learning math from a computerized video game (the new digital curriculum) with only one teacher available to answer questions so a significant number of students were left frustrated because their teacher could not get to all of them. Digital educators suggest from 5 to 10 students per computer teacher not 25 to 1.

    In fact the inappropriate use of digital technology is causing long term developmental damage in our youth.The early use of 2 dimensional computer screens etc. denies students the growth opportunities provided by three dimensional hands on experiences from say a craft activity. In a longitudinal study, cognitive Researchers Shayer, Ginsberg, and Coe found that 11 year olds today are performing at the cognitive developmental level that 8 and 9 year olds were performing at 30 years ago.(1)This is attributed to the lack of experiential play in primary schools and the growth of the video game/TV culture. Another study by Weis and Cerankosky has linked the use of computer games with lower abilities in reading and literacy.(2)

    1) Shayer, M, Ginsberg, D and Coe, R (2007). Thirty years on – a large anti-Flynn effect? the Piagetian test volume & heaviness norms 1975-2003. british Journal of educational Psychology, 77, 1, 25-41.
    2) Weis, R., & Cerankosky, B. (2010). Effects of Video-Game Ownership on Young Boys’ Academic and Behaviorial functioning: A Randomized, Controlled Study Psychological Science DOI.

    David Fisher
    Seattle Schools

  2. Great news! If teachers stick together they are are un-stopable. The more teachers that join this boycott of the MAP the more difficult it will be for the administration to suspend teachers.

    If a critical mass of teachers are disciplined in this manner who will teach in Seattle for the 10 day suspension threatened by the superintendent? Solidarity forever!

    Seattle teachers are leading the way. A peoples revolution verses the corporate coup in public education. As always when the rank and file lead, union leadership will follow.


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