On January 10th, 2013 the entire teaching faculty at Garfield High School (with only three abstentions) voted to support a boycott against administering the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). The staff cited the following reasons for doing so:
- MAP does not test students on curriculum taught in classroom.
- Teacher evaluations will be partly based on MAP outcomes.
- Many students, knowing that the MAP test is not a graduation requirement and will not impact their grades, don’t take it seriously.
- The MAP, specifically, is a waste of time and money, and monopolizes limited school resources (such as computers) during the weeks the test is administered.
On January 21, 2013 Seattle School Superintendent José Banda sent a message to all staff members, defending the exams and asking principals to make sure the tests are completed by February 22, 2013.
On January 23, 2013 Paul Apostle, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource sent a letter to Principals and staff indicating that teachers who refuse to administer the MAP test will be suspended for 10 days without pay.
In the days that followed, the Garfield High School (GHS) PTSA, the Garfield Associated Student Body (ASB), GHS Alumni, several Seattle schools and various education groups from across the country publicly voiced their support of the Garfield HS faculty.
What can you do to support Garfield High School teachers?
1. Opt your student out of the MAP test. You can do this by emailing Testing Coordinator Kris McBride at email@example.com or by filling out this form and returning it to Kris McBride, Garfield’s testing coordinator. Send in the form with your student (drop off at front office), or mail it to: Kris McBride, Testing Coordinator, Garfield High School, 400 23rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98122. Please note that there are absolutely no consequences for opting your student out of MAP testing; the test scores are not part of the student’s academic record. If you have questions, contact Ms. McBride via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (206) 252-2362
2. Voice your opinion on MAP testing by contacting :
- SPS Superintendent Jose Banda at email@example.com
- The Seattle School Board at firstname.lastname@example.org
- GHS Principal Ted Howard at email@example.com
3. Become involved on Wednesday, February 6th, a National Day of Action to support the MAP Boycott. Learn more about how to get involved here.
For more information about the MAP test, and to read and listen to some local media coverage of the boycott please check out the links below:
- What is MAP testing? click here
- 15 Reasons Why the Seattle School District Should Shelve the MAP® Test—ASAP
- Letter from Superintendent Banda to GHS Administration & Staff on 1/21/13 Here
- Letter from Paul Apostle, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource sent to Principals on 1/23/13 Here
- Letter from GHS PTSA President to Superintendent Here
- Seattle Times: Garfield High teachers won’t give required test they call flawed 1/10/13
- Seattle Times: Some ORCA K-8 teachers join boycott of MAP exams 1/14/13
- Seattle Times: Teachers’ test boycott draws growing support 1/21/13
- Seattle Times: Teachers opposed to tests get a warning 1/23/13
- Democracy Now: Interview with Jesse Hagopian, GHS history teacher 1/29/13
- Seattle Education: a Seattle schools’ blog, has many articles relating to the boycott Here