January 13th, 2013
Education reform by the real experts – Seattle teachers purge tests
“There is something grotesque about the fact that education reform is being led not by educators but by financiers and speculators and billionaires.” Chris Hedges.
Teachers at two Seattle high schools have rebelled against one standardized test. This is perhaps a national first and could launch a movement. In a letter describing the rationale for their decision, Garfield High teachers, the first group to take action after a nearly unanimous vote of teachers (3 dissenting), declared:
“We are not troublemakers nor do we want to impede the high functioning of our school. We are professionals who care deeply about our students and cannot continue to participate in a practice that harms our school and our students.”
One of the many standardized tests that schools in Washington State administer is the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). According to the Seattle Public Schools (district) staff MAP might not be valid for high schoolers. Ironically, the test purports to measure skills, including math, that require more instructional time yet the testing deprives approximately 800 students in one high school of over 5 hours teaching time. Students take geometry but the test also measures knowledge in statistics. The MAP is given on computers which overwhelms the computer labs with weeks devoted for nothing more than test taking.
The test was sold to the district by a company (NWEA) whose former Board member also became a discredited and terminated District Superintendent.
You can show your solidarity with these brave teachers.
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