January 16, 2013
Jose Banda, Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools
Seattle School Board Directors
Dear Superintendent Banda and Seattle School Board Directors,
We, the undersigned teachers and support staff members of West Seattle High School wish to add our voices of support to the efforts of Garfield High School teachers, Ballard High School teachers, Orca K-8 teachers and other school staffs who are refusing to give the MAP tests, and requesting that the NWEA contract not be renewed next June. The message we want to convey in that, while we will not be disobeying orders to administer the MAP ourselves, we appreciate the courageous efforts of our colleagues who have risked their jobs and their reputations in order to secure what they feel is the best use of instructional time and resources for their students. They have used their “teacher voices”, and claimed their First Amendment rights, along with the right to freely assemble outside of the school day. Their actions are admirable and unusual, especially in the face of anti-teacher rhetoric and “value added” testing injunctions that have been dispensed by the “education reform movement” across the United States. We ask that you join us in admiring our colleagues tenacity and perspicacity, and that there be no disciplinary consequences for those teachers who participate in the MAP Test Boycott.
At West Seattle High School, teachers will not be refusing to give the MAP test. The MAP has been used here to make placement decisions, and some teachers have set goals that reference improvement in reading and math MAP scores. MAP results can inform our instruction; however, we feel that any test with as high a margin of error as the MAP should not be used to punitively evaluate teachers.
Thank you very much for reading this letter, and considering our request,
Signed by 16 teachers and staff members at West Seattle High School