An interview with Washington State Superintendent Candidate Erin Jones

  Erin Jones is running for Washington State Superintendent to be in charge of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). According to the OSPI webpage, it is “the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 public education in Washington state”. Presently, … Continue reading An interview with Washington State Superintendent Candidate Erin Jones

Why I opted my kids out of the SBAC.

My parents never opted me out of a standardized test. And I never thought of opting my elementary school kids out of the state MSP tests. But I’m opting out of the SBAC. Why? Because I looked at it, and I tried to imagine my kids taking it. It looked like a thoroughly unpleasant experience, with a clunky user interface and ambiguous questions, all for scores that will not give me or their teachers an accurate picture of their “readiness for college and career.” Best case, they’ll come home a little tired. Worst case, they’ll come home burned out and … Continue reading Why I opted my kids out of the SBAC.

One of Top Ten Op-ed’s this year: Why Garfield teachers boycotted the MAP test

  The Seattle Times just posted their top ten most-read opinion pieces of the year and Garfield High School teacher Jesse Hagopian was on the list at #8. And guess what? All of those corporate reform pieces penned by the Seattle Times staff and our local Gates representatives in the guise of the League of Education Voters (LEV), Stand for Children (SFC) and the Alliance for Education (A4E) “thought leaders” that came out on a routine basis this year? Zero. That’s one for the home team. To follow is the op-ed: Why Garfield teachers boycotted the MAP test WALKING the same halls once … Continue reading One of Top Ten Op-ed’s this year: Why Garfield teachers boycotted the MAP test

Jesse Hagopian nails it on Education Nation

Brian Williams, the host of Education Nation, the ed reform infomercial brought to you by Gates & Co., asked Jesse Hagopian during the Teacher Town Hall, “You’re not against testing are you?”  Jesse responded in a kick *** way that had the audience cheering. As Jesse stated on his blog, “I was very happy to be able to help inject a serious debate on a national level about the corrosive nature of standardized testing on public education and the many important alternative ways to assess student learning that promote the kind of critical thinking education our nation so desperately needs.” … Continue reading Jesse Hagopian nails it on Education Nation

Panel on student testing at Town Hall in Seattle

On Tuesday September 17th at 7:30 PM there will be a panel discussion on standardized testing at Town Hall in Seattle titled To Test or Not to Test? The panelists will include our very own Wayne Au, PhD who is an Associate Professor at UW Bothell. Dr. Au’s research focuses on educational equity, high-stakes testing, curriculum theory, educational policy studies and social studies education. One of the courses that Wayne Au teaches is Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in Secondary Social Studies and History. He is also an Editorial Board Member for Rethinking Schools and has written many articles on the subject … Continue reading Panel on student testing at Town Hall in Seattle

The Opt Out Update: Protests planned in Chicago and Colorado this week as the Opt Out Movement continues to grow and Louisiana opts out of the Common Core Standards

Bush, Obama focus on standardized testing leads to ‘opt-out’ parents’ movement A decade into the school accountability movement, pockets of resistance to standardized testing are sprouting up around the country, with parents and students opting out of the high-stakes tests used to evaluate schools and teachers.   From Seattle, where 600 high school students refused to take a standardized test in January, to Texas, where 86 percent of school districts say the tests are “strangling our public schools,” anti-testing groups argue that bubble exams have proliferated beyond reason, delivering more angst than benefits.   “Over the last couple of years, … Continue reading The Opt Out Update: Protests planned in Chicago and Colorado this week as the Opt Out Movement continues to grow and Louisiana opts out of the Common Core Standards

Webinar: Teacher Jesse Hagopian of Garfield High School- How it can happen at your school

A webinar with Garfield High School Teacher Jesse Hagopian A free webinar featuring Jesse Hagopian, Garfield teacher and alumnus, as he discusses the background and current state of the fight to Scrap The Map. Today at 5pm PST. You must register via email to receive an invitation to the webinar: Write to garfieldteacherswebinar@gmail.com You will then receive a link to the webinar and easy technical directions for utilizing the free, online, web meeting service.   Continue reading Webinar: Teacher Jesse Hagopian of Garfield High School- How it can happen at your school

Sanislo Elementary School stands with Garfield High School: It’s a “Kafkaesque situation”

The following letter was sent to Seattle Schools’ superintendent Jose Banda from the teachers at Sanislo Elementary School in Seattle. January 17, 2013 Dear Superintendent Banda: We the staff at Sanislo Elementary, by a unanimous vote, write to express our support for Garfield High School’s decision to not administer the MAP test. We share many of their same concerns, including the impact on a struggling student’s esteem and the lack of usability of the results when given the current text adoptions. We similarly decry the loss of instructional time, the loss of computer lab access and the loss of instructional … Continue reading Sanislo Elementary School stands with Garfield High School: It’s a “Kafkaesque situation”

Wayne Au on His Alma Mater Garfield High School

This article has been reposted in full with permission by the author. Proud to be a Garfield Bulldog The growing support for Garfield teachers’ resistance to the MAP test is a testament to just how much the collective action of teachers at one school means to the rest of the world. On the afternoon of Thursday, January 10th, a group of about 15 teachers stood together in the front of room 206 at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington. News cameras and audio recorders from local media outlets crowded the podium as reporters, students, colleagues, and supporters listened closely. The teachers … Continue reading Wayne Au on His Alma Mater Garfield High School

Orca K-8 teachers refuse to give the MAP test

According to the Seattle Times: Teachers and instructional assistants at a second Seattle school are refusing to give exams known as the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP — district-required tests that are given two or three times year. The test boycott that began at Seattle’s Garfield High has now spread to a second school — ORCA K-8, an alternative school in Rainier Valley. Eleven ORCA teachers and instructional assistants are refusing to give exams known as the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), district-required tests that are given two or three times year, according to ORCA teacher Matt Carter.   Continue reading Orca K-8 teachers refuse to give the MAP test

A webcast with Fair Test Monty Neill, United Opt Out’s Tim Slekar and Shaun Johnson with special guest Garfield High School teacher Jesse Hagopian on high stakes testing and opting out

The term “high stakes testing” refers to standardized tests that are taken by students and used to evaluate a teacher and/or principal’s performance or that of a school. Many times these tests have been used more as a weapon rather than a tool, causing the wholesale firing of teachers and the closing of schools, many times converting those closed schools into charter schools. This type of testing also creates additional stress for students who many times feel that how they perform on a test may affect the future of a well loved teacher or school. Another outcome of high stakes … Continue reading A webcast with Fair Test Monty Neill, United Opt Out’s Tim Slekar and Shaun Johnson with special guest Garfield High School teacher Jesse Hagopian on high stakes testing and opting out

Part 5: High Stakes Testing and Opting Out: The Push Back

The Push Back: Opting Out (A continuation from Part 4: High Stakes Testing: The Consequences.) Parents, teachers, principals, school board members and education administrators are beginning to understand that this excessive focus on testing has hurt their schools and their students. In Seattle, for example, the MAP test is administered twice each school year with the choice for the student to be tested a third time. There is also the statewide Measurement of Student Progress (MSP) that is administered to students in Seattle. That is three if not four standardized tests that a student in public school is required to take … Continue reading Part 5: High Stakes Testing and Opting Out: The Push Back