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Garfield High School teachers refuse to administer standardized test

TestSEATTLE — Teachers at Seattle’s Garfield High School announced Thursday that they will refuse to administer a standardized test that students in other high schools across the district take in January.

Teachers claimed the Measure of Academic Progress, or MAP, standardized test, given to evaluate student progress and skill in reading and math, wastes time, money and school resources.

“Our teachers have come together and agree that the MAP test is not good for our students, nor is it an appropriate or useful tool in measuring progress,” Kris McBride, Garfield’s Academic Dean and Testing Coordinator at Garfield, said in a release.

The test is administered two to three times a year to 9th grade students. The test has no impact on grades or class standing, Garfield school officials said, giving students little incentive to perform well on the test. However, the MAP test is used to help evaluate the competence of the instructors throughout the district, teachers said. They argued using test scores to measure a teacher’s effectiveness is unfair.

Garfield teachers voted overwhelmingly on Dec. 19 not to administer the test to their students. In fact, not a single teacher voted against the action for teachers to abstain from voting, Garfield High School’s Jesse Hagopian said.

“Our teachers feel strongly that this type of evaluative tool is unfair based on the abundance of problems with the exam, the content, and the statistical insignificance of the students’ scores,” McBride said.

The MAP tests cost Seattle Public Schools $4 million, Hagopian said, and were purchased during the tenure of former Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson.

A fight between district administrators and Garfield teachers may soon come to a head. Seattle Public Schools stood by the test in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

“The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test is a standards-aligned assessment widely implemented in school systems across the state and the nation,” Seattle Public School officials said in a release.

The school district said it expects a full report on the “effectiveness” of MAP testing in the spring, but that Garfield teachers will be expected to administer the test until then.


13 Comments to “Garfield High School teachers refuse to administer standardized test”

    Pat said:
    January 10, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    This is a poorly proof-read article, completely riddled with errors.

      yo yo said:
      January 10, 2013 at 8:40 PM

      Pat, stop wasting time on errors that have no significant value.

    lpbio said:
    January 10, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Standardized test are the bane of an educated society.

    NAVYTOWN said:
    January 10, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Hmmmm…..are the teachers at Garfield afraid of the results if the students take the MAP test?

      ipman said:
      January 10, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      It isn't fair to Garfield teachers to administer the test and take blame when the test is supposedly to reflect what they learned throughout the years since elementary

      Jennifer Hall said:
      January 12, 2013 at 6:56 AM

      They are afraid that the MAP has no relevance to what the students need to be learning, and they are courageous enough to risk their own necks to give their students an intellectually and culturally relevant education. Garfield is the Seattle School Districts' Flagship High School. Scores aren't the problem here. Wasting valuable classroom time is.

    yeee said:
    January 11, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    These test are put in place so that the "haves" can put a label on the "have nots" …the test is catered to the "haves". So, "have nots"…labeled with low test scores…less funding…lesser competition for the kids of the "haves" for college/career/social mobility

    Sharon said:
    January 11, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Teachers questioning the status quo! Standing up for what's best for kids. Serious about educating children, instead of just measuring them. As teachers, we don't need these silly tests to tell us how our kids are doing and what they need. The last thing they need is to be wasting their precious class time, taking tests!

    Eddie said:
    January 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Bravo Garfield High! I fervently hope your gutsy stand sweeps across the nation. The testing regime created by NCLB has been a horrible blight on American education. Purposeless tests, misused results, fodder for teacher bashing: get rid of the whole mess.

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