The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Seattle:
Teachers Say NO to Mandated Test

Feb 4, 2013

Teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, as a body, refused to administer a test mandated by the school board. The teachers made this decision collectively – they discussed, and voted almost unanimously (only four abstentions) to boycott the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test of reading and math.

Students’ performance on the test is being used as part of the teachers’ job evaluations – which is ridiculous. Students don’t take MAP seriously, because it does not affect their grades. Even the company that sells MAP warns against using it to evaluate teachers.

In their statement, the teachers also explained how this test actually hurts students. MAP is taken online – so it ties up the school’s computers for weeks and prevents students from using them for actual schoolwork. Not to mention the time the test eats up!

Now the teachers have been threatened with a 10-day loss of pay. But they have not conceded.

The Garfield teachers’ cry resonates among public school teachers – not only in Seattle but across the country. In Chicago, where MAP is also given, a teacher wrote: “The teachers at Garfield ... have done what a lot of teachers have wanted to do. They’ve stood up – together – and said no.”