UPDATE: Seattle Schools Superintendent Jose Banda has issued a statement to Garfield High School staff and members of the Garfield PTSA regarding his order to proceed with MAP testing. You can find the full statement below.
The MAP test will be given today at Garfield High School - just not by the teachers who've been boycotting it since last month. The announcement comes this morning after a meeting Monday between Seattle Schools Superintendent Jose Banda, Garfield teachers and one with a Garfield principal, according to the Seattle Times.
The Times' Linda Shaw reports that nearly the entire non-administrative staff at Garfield will continue to boycott the test, citing a conversation with Kris McBride, Garfield's academic dean and testing coordinator. McBride tells the Times that Garfield's administrators are unhappy about having to give the test, and that more than 100 parents have requested that their children be excused from it.
"We're just really disappointed this is what it's come to," McBride tells the Times.
In response to today's announcement, a group led by activist teacher Jesse Hagopian, which operates the blog "Scrap the MAP", issued a statement this morning condemning the decision.
"The teachers don't place any blame on the school's administrators who face pressure from the SSD to implement the test," the statement reads. "We place the blame squarely on a district that issued threats rather than listened to the professional judgment of teachers.
"This move by the district won't break our resolve to fight for quality assessment," adds Mallory Clarke, a boycotting teacher, in the "Scrap the MAP" statement.
Also according to the Times, during his meeting with administrators and teachers Monday Banda said the boycotting teachers would receive some sort of discipline for refusing to administer the test, though that discipline would not include suspensions without pay. Yesterday the Seattle King County NAACP held a press conference proclaiming support of the teachers boycotting MAP testing, and Seattle King County President NAACP President James Bible told Seattle Weekly his organization was prepared to hold bake sales and car washes to raise money for teachers who may have lost pay due to their stand against the test. Apparently that will not be necessary.
I placed a call to Seattle Public Schools Spokesperson Teresa Wippel who told me this morning she was still gathering details on the development. I will update this post with more details about how the test will be administered as soon as they become available.
Here is the statement from Banda:
Dear Garfield staff and families:
I want to thank you for sharing your concerns about MAP assessments. After careful consideration of what is in the best interest of all of our students across the district, I have asked schools to proceed with administering the MAP assessment as scheduled.
I have met with Garfield High School staff on two separate occasions to listen to their concerns and the important issues they raise regarding the limitations of the MAP assessment. While I feel the teachers at Garfield are sincere in their efforts to postpone the administration of the MAP, I also have a strong obligation to the students and parents of this school district to ensure we are measuring student progress in a consistent manner across all schools.
The MAP assessment is administered to over 6 million students across the nation and in 209 school districts with in Washington State. Thousands of educators find the MAP data useful in determining student progress. Using the MAP assessment, combined with other measures, helps us to identify students who are achieving at various levels, regardless of the grade, allowing us to provide additional support or perhaps more challenging curriculum. In partnership with the City of Seattle, Office of Education, MAP results are also used to measure the effectiveness of programs we implement through the Family and Education Levy.
The district acted in good faith to address the concerns raised by the Garfield High School staff and other educators in Seattle Public Schools. This is why I set into motion a task force comprised of teachers, principals and community representatives. The goal of this task force is to engage in thoughtful, collaborative conversations in an effort to land on a solution that will benefit our students. The task force will review the MAP assessment in its present iteration and review the landscape of a comprehensive system of assessments that will lead us into the future as we implement the Common Core State Standards. Throughout this process we will be seeking input from parents and educators via survey to ensure we hear multiple perspectives. I will look to this task force to provide recommendations regarding the future of MAP assessments.
I remain hopeful that we will continue to work together in support of our students. I look forward to future conversations with our staff and community about assessments and other important topics.
Seattle Public Schools
2445 3rd Avenue S.
Seattle, WA 98124