Seattle teachers revolt against tests deemed waste of time

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SEATTLE —

 

 Teachers refusing to give students a standardized test they said is a waste of time will protest in Seattle on Wednesday.

 

Teachers at Garfield High School and three other schools are refusing to give Measures of Academic Progress tests.

 

Among the other schools where teachers are boycotting the MAP are Orca K-8 and Salmon Bay K-8.

 

Six other schools in the district support the boycott, but plan to administer the test anyway.

 

The standardized tests are designed to show teachers where each student is in their learning of various subjects, and to give details about what they know and what they're ready to learn.

 

But some local teachers said the tests have nothing to do with what they teach, and since passing the test isn't required for graduation, some teachers believe the MAP tests are a waste of time.

 

"This MAP test is leading (us) on a journey toward failure.  It's leading us on a journey of conflict of interest and ethics violations,” said Garfield High School teacher Jesse Hagopain.

 

The potential conflict of interest Hagopain mentioned stems from $400,000 Seattle Public Schools spent for the MAP test while the late Maria Goodloe-Johnson was superintendent.

 

At the time, Goodloe-Johnson was also a board member for the company that created the test.

 

The district has downplayed that connection.

 

While the teachers are holding a 4 p.m. rally at Seattle schools headquarters, Seattle schools superintendent Jose Banda is planning to hold a news conference.

 

It is not known if there will be an announcement about the future use of the test or if the district will defend the MAP.

 

Meanwhile, the teachers who are boycotting the tests are getting a lot of high-profile backing from across the nation.

 

MIT, NYU, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Texas at Austin and Chicago Public Schools have all expressed concern over the test.

 

Seattle librarians have also sent a letter voicing their concerns.