Seattle Times - The Seattle teachers union said that it shares concerns the faculty at Garfield High has raised about district-required tests known as the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP.
announced that no teachers at the school would be giving the MAP tests
this winter, even though the district requires them to do so. Nearly
all the faculty signed a letter to the district saying they’re not
against testing, but they think the MAP exams fail to help them or their
students and waste valuable class time.
In a prepared statement,
the union said it shares the Garfield teachers’ concerns, and has
raised the same issue with school district officials over the past few
years. It also said it has been trying to get the district to consider
alternatives to the MAP that are more closely aligned to the district’s
curriculum and state learning standards.
The union listed its concerns as follows:
The test does not line up with state standards.
The test does not line up with district curriculum.
The test takes valuable time away from student learning.
Many students do not take the test seriously.
The testing time frame takes valuable time away from students in the
school being able to access computer labs and libraries for other
The data obtained is of minimal use to teachers in planning lessons and meeting individual student needs.
Garfield High School PTSA Board Members
-You may have seen in the news that the Garfield teachers have decided
that they are no longer going to give the MAP tests to 9th grade
students at Garfield. These are tests that are given three times during
the 9th grade year to assess a student’s performance level in reading
and math and their progress during the course of the year. These tests
have nothing to do with a student’s grades or their progress toward
graduation. The test results are just information for the teachers and
the school district.
However, because the tests have no
consequences for the student, many students do not take them seriously.
As a result the test results do not really measure a student’s knowledge
level. Teachers also object because the tests are not connected to what
is being taught in the classroom and they take up a lot of time.
Further, the teachers are concerned that the test results might be used
to evaluate teachers which they believe would be inappropriate. The
teachers believe that the grades the students are earning in the
classroom are much better measures of the student’s knowledge level and
The Garfield PTSA shares the concerns of
the teachers at Garfield with the MAP testing and supports termination
of these tests. There are many students who start the 9th grade who
cannot perform 9th grade level math and English work. Some students are
far behind. The real issue is what the school district is going to do,
starting early in a student’s educational life, to help as many students
as possible perform at grade level. A major effort to get students to
grade level performance and to keep them there through graduation
requires a focus and resources that we have not seen from the District
or the Legislature. It is this focus on improving student achievement
and providing the resources to accomplish it that deserves