Wednesday protests planned as Garfield moves forward with MAP test demands

Seattle Schools superintendent Jose Banda has won his battle to get Garfield High School in line and administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests. CHS reported on a faculty-led effort to boycott the standardized tests that critics claim are a poor measure of academic progress and are biased against students of color and the poor. The district plans to use the test results as part of the teacher evaluation process for the first time this year.

(Image: Seattle Schools)

(Image: Seattle Schools)

The testing will begin Tuesday at Garfield though many students are expected to be excused following a surge in parents opting their children out of the process following the push-back from Garfield teachers and support from other schools in the district and across the country.

Expect to see students hit the streets on Wednesday as a series of Scrap the MAP! protests are planned across the country.

What: Educators, Students, Parents and supporters of Public Education nation-wide will take action in support of Garfield High School teachers and all teachers in Seattle Public Schools refusing to administer the MAP test.

Teachers at Garfield High School and other Seattle Public Schools have gained national attention and support for their stand against the Measure of Academic Progress, for its invalidity, waste of time and resources and its scandalous arrival to Seattle. We call on supporters of public education nationwide to participate in actions in their locale to show their support for our effort to Scrap the MAP. Supporters will hold meetings, rallies, take photos, and wear red to show support on February 6th.

As the nation-wide day of protest grows, we will send updates to the media with all the cities and organizations who are participating.

When: Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Where: All over the nation! In Seattle actions will take place at participating schools, including Garfield, Orca, Chief Sealth, and Center School.

Some of the prominent organizations and individuals that have expressed their support for the Seattle MAP test boycott: National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), San Diego Education Association, UTLA Board of Directors, Parents Across America, Des Moines, Iowa Education Association, Diane Ravitch, Garfield High School PTSA, Garfield HS Associated Student Body, Dr. Wayne Au, Dexter Tang, President of Seattle Student Senate, Matt Damon & his mother Dr. Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Seattle Education Association (SEA), The SEA Substitute Association, and Social Equality Educators (SEE).

Garfield serves as the public high school for most Capitol Hill teenagers. All Seattle ninth graders are required to take the MAP reading test. Unlike state-mandated tests, the MAP has no bearing on whether a student can graduate. The district contends the tests are useful for measuring achievement and improvement. This year, the district also plans to begin utilizing the results in teacher evaluations:

Teachers who get high scores on both student growth and classroom observations may qualify for promotions and higher pay. Teachers with low growth scores will get extra classroom observation by their principal and more training opportunities. If they don’t improve, they could end up on probation according to the teacher contract.

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