January 28, 2013
Kay Smith-Blum, District Director and President
Board of Directors for Seattle Public Schools
Mail Station 11-010
Post Office Box 34165
Seattle, Washington 98124-1165
The California Federation of Teachers expresses its solidarity with the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and the Garfield High School teachers who have made a courageous decision to stand with their students against the pedagogically unsound MAP test.
Over the last couple of years, the SEA has communicated to the Seattle School District administration serious concerns over the validity of the MAP test. These issues include:
- 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 timeframe takes valuable time away from students in the school being able to access computer labs and libraries for other projects.
- The data obtained is of minimal use to teachers in planning lessons and meeting individual student needs.
Despite the serious issues raised by Seattle teachers and their union, the MAP test continues to be administered by the district. With the District refusing to act, the teachers at Garfield High School have stepped forward as advocates for their students.
The valiant decision of the Garfield teachers has begun to resonate with educators across the country. We urge the district to work collaboratively with its teachers to find meaningful alternatives to the MAP test.
Perhaps Seattle can be the district that begins a national dialogue on the testing mania that has victimized students and the women and men who work with them.
President, California Federation of Teachers
cc: Jonathan Knapp, President, Seattle Education Association
Sandra S. Shroeder, President, AFT Washington
Randi Weingarten, President, AFT