Seattle teacher revolt: Teachers in Seattle have boycotted using a standardized test, while education officials have said they might face disciplinary action.
Teachers in Seattle have boycotted a widely used standardized test, drawing national attention over an increasing push to curb extra standardized testing across U.S. public schools.
The staff of Garfield High School in Seattle voted unanimously to end using the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test for ninth graders, according to UPI. Other Seattle schools later joined them.
They were threatened with a 10-day unpaid suspension, but continued to go on with the boycott. The high school’s Parent-Teacher-Student Association and the student body government both support ending use of the tests.
Standardized testing has become increasingly prominent in American public schools over the past decade, reported Reuters. The tests are required by ex-President George W. Bush starting 2002 as part of the “No Child Left Behind” program.
Over the years, teachers are now evaluated by the scores of their students, and the students must pass the tests to advance to the next grade or graduate.
Seattle gives out another standardized test in addition to the federally mandated ones, reported UPI. The teachers at Garfield in Seattle have taken issue with the extra testing, prompting the boycott.
In February, students in Portland started a boycott against state-mandated exams. In Rhode Island, students sprayed themselves with fake blood, pretending to be zombies to protest against education officials.
Clover Codd, a Seattle School District official, told Reuters that teachers who did not give the MAP tests on Feb. 28 could face punishment.
“We hear their concerns, we want to work with them, but we need to do what’s right for our children,” said Codd. “There may be two rights here.”
A contributor with scrapthemap.wordpress.com elaborated on the boycott in Seattle, according to UPI.
“Admins came into classrooms and tried to pull students out to take the MAP test in the library. Students stared straight ahead, and wouldn’t budge,” the contributor said. The post added: “In a library with about 60 computer stations set up for the MAP, there were single digit numbers of students sitting at computers. Of those, many sat at the computers and refused to press even a single button.”
Sandy Kress, a former advisor to President Bush, told the news agency that standardized testing that focuses too much on scores will deprive students of a decent education.
“If it’s all back to just grades … a lot of people will have an easy time for about 10 years, (but later) our kids will suffer dramatically,” Kress said.
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