Update: MAP Test Boycott Victory for High Schools!

Watch the video on Democracy Now!

Click here to see the final recommendations of the Teacher Work Group on Assessment

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Seattle teachers have taken a historic stand for their students by refusing to administer the MAP test.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Call, email, and write to Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José L. Banda to let him know that you support the boycott and to demand that the participating teachers receive no disciplinary action.

Superintendent José L. Banda
(206) 252-0180
superintendent@seattleschools.org
Office of the Superintendent
MS: 32-150
P.O. Box 34165
Seattle, WA 98124-1165

2. Sign the online petitions:

  • Change.org: Seattle Public Schools: Support Seattle teachers refusing to administer the MAP!
  • SignOn.org: Petition to cancel the MAP® test in Seattle Public Schools
  • SignOn.org: Support the Seattle Teachers’ Standardized Test Boycott

3. If you are part of a union or other organization, propose a solidarity resolution.  You can see examples of resolutions and letters of support here.  Email scrapthemap@yahoo.com so we can add it to our website.

4. If you are an educator, add your name to the solidarity letter written by Brian Jones and Wayne Au by emailing your name and affiliation to GHSstatement@gmail.com.

5. If you are a National Board Certified Teacher, add your name to the solidarity letter by emailing ericmuhs@comcast.net.

6. Donate to the MAP Boycott Solidarity Fund on behalf of yourself or your organization.

17 thoughts on “

  1. THANK YOU FOR SETTING AN EXAMPLE FOR THE NATION TO FOLLOW!

    Expose the bad effects of RTTT and NCLB! I’m glad to see someone is taking a stand in the nation and doing what only makes sense.

    RTTT and NCLB hasn’t worked to increase student scores and children continue to pay the price for bad policies and further as collateral damage, the teachers are being measured by implementation of bad policies/misuse of test data and ultimately zip coded by student scores which will eventually be tied to real estate values. Kids are more than a score. Teachers teach more than what a test can measure. Students learn more than a test can measure. Wisconsin and Ohio did their parts, glad to see Washington has joined to bring about necessary change for the good of the children and the nation!

    GOOD FOR YOU ALL for having the COURAGE to take a STAND, It is necessary for positive change! We stand behind YOU.

  2. The current inappropriate overemphasis on standardized teaching and test scores amounts to child abuse and teacher abuse. Thanks for taking a stand for all of us!

  3. As background, it is interesting to think about Tom Brokaw’s book “The Greatest Generation” (I haven’t read the book so this is in reference to the title without delving any deeper.) That generation attended public schools and I’m sure they and their teachers weren’t given the standardized tests required today. One thing I do know about tests is that the national test to certify psychologists bears no relationship to one’s ability as a psychologist. That comes from internships and practice like so much else in life. Maybe we should take this test-mania a few steps further: devise a test for childen to take before they can ride a bike or even get into school…or maybe test and license people to be parents!?!

    Meanwhile our young people are very proficient at clicking, googling, games and texting….

  4. As a retired teacher, I am at liberty to say I am in total support of this movement. When our school was under pressure for low MAP scores, we began teaching totally for the test. Science was even dropped for 4th graders since that was not included on their test. The following year we were congratulated for the great improvement in scores. It’s so disappointing as a teacher to know the sacrifice in learning necessary to meet the standards required for justifying our ability to teach. Many learning opportunities were wasted due to the pressure of MAP results. I could not voice my opinion if I was still teaching for fear of retribution. I respect the teachers that are speaking out. I hope the public is enlightened about the MAP test and support the teachers who have boldly stood up to protest. It would be great to see the funds wasted on the MAP redirected to making building repairs, improving teaching materials, and increasing teacher wages.

  5. My children are in elementary school in Seattle. I had my reservations about the MAP test at first and I have apprehension about this sort of standardized testing in general. But, after my research 2 years ago I found that the cost per student to administer the MAP is significantly less than administering paper and pencil tests. I have reservations about the time that it takes away from the classroom. I have found the testing useful in monitoring my children’s progress, weaknesses, and strengths.

    I know that this is simply one of many tools available to teachers to gauge student academic progress, but it is a test that can provide metrics over time regardless of the yearly change of teachers. I have tracked my children’s results and the MAP testing tool carefully to understand them and I have observed that it is quite accurate in aligning with my children’s concurrent aptitude.

    I can see where teachers strengths and weaknesses can be tracked over time, to some extent. I would think that a good teacher would want a good tool to help them improve their instruction over time. Traditional grading of students is arbitrary by nature, and the transition from teacher to teacher of student progress across years is even more arbitrary.

    Unfortunately, we now live in a world where we all are required to take standardized tests to prove our academic or professional aptitude. As a parent, I want to know that my kids are successfully learning the basic academic skills that they need. I think there ought to be some standardized testing to track students and teachers…. What should it be? I have not seen teachers offer better solutions to this performance question. A teacher, or students success or aptitude ought not to be gauged by one simplistic test… but by the use of a number of metrics. How are under-performing teachers measured… they are out there and ought to be held to task? Measuring teacher success is a complicated task as there are so many factors affecting kid’s progress in the classroom, some of those factors are out of reach of the teacher. Under-performance though is not unique to the profession of teaching.

    Change is hard… but it isn’t always bad. The failure I see in the MAP is that SPS and other school districts in the state have not vetted the test by showing that schools who have adopted the test have been able to affect positive academic progress by students and teachers reacting to testing results over time. I have observed that the district has also not adequately trained teachers on how to read, understand, and use the MAP results to improve their teaching or a particular student’s progress.

    • What standardized test do you take each year to prove your professional aptitude? As an elementary teacher; I have no problem taking a professional test each year. However, I do take issue with my professionalism being evaluated on the backs of children. It sounds like you are a supportive parent. Many children in this country are still concerned with basic needs such as food, sleep and housing. Obviously, these needs affect their test results. Not every child in this country is as lucky as your own. The problem with this debate is well meaning people such as yourself who are not teachers think they know best. I do not tell you what to do in your job; stop being pretending that you know best about mine. We are not turning out a product such as a company; we are shaping human beings.

    • I agree that change is not always bad, and that is what the Seattle teachers are trying to do. They want to push back at a system that is not working and needs momentum to be changed. Yes, testing can be important, but your children sound like they have a supportive parent, one that allows them to focus on school and their studies that help them do well on MAP tests. Does this mean that your children are smarter then those children in the same class who don’t do well? If your child is doing well then you are saying their teacher is doing well, correct? Because, that same class might have children who have other things going on in their life that are more important to them than school, such as going to bed hungry because there is no food in their home. Have you ever tried to work on an empty stomach? Its challenging, draining, and about impossible to pay attention. Their are many ways to test a child’s skills and its extremely important to keep in mind that not all skills are purely academic.
      I feel that the teachers are creating a place for change to happen, they are making it clear to the community and the school system in general that their needs to be a change. The more people aware of an issue the more chances of a solution being brought to the for front.

  6. There will be an exciting discussion on public education on Wednesday night in Seattle, including an Orca K-8 teacher who is boycotting the MAP test. Hope you all can make it.

    Race, MAP tests, and privatization: The fight for equality in public education

    Wednesday, February 20, 7:00pm
    New Freeway Hall, 5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle

    Bring your thoughts and opinions to a public forum with

    Special guest speaker Dr. Steven Strauss
    Dr. Strauss is a Baltimore-area neurologist and a Ph.D. linguistics scholar. As a speaker and writer on education issues, he brings an anti-capitalist analysis and the passion of a parent with two children educated in public schools. In 2011 he marched with Save Our Schools in Washington, D.C., to protest corporatization and high-stakes testing.

    Also featuring Matt Carter
    Carter is a 4th/5th grade teacher and one of 12 staff members at Orca K-8 who are boycotting the MAP test. He is a shop steward for the Seattle Education Association and a member of Social Equality Educators. As the parent of a son and a daughter at Orca, he has opted them out of the MAP test as well.

    Door donation $3, students $1, snacks served at 6:30pm for a $4 donation
    Sponsor: Freedom Socialist Party

    For information 206-722-2453 or FSPseattle@mindspring.com.
    To request childcare please call three days in advance.

  7. Pingback: What Can I Do Now That I Know About Educational Inequity?: Adding Your Voice to Public Forums (by Guest Blogger Amanda House) |

  8. You are true advocates for children all over the country. Thank you for taking action and inspiring myself and others.

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