FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
After talking to a number of administrators, teachers and education experts, the NAACP has decided to support teachers that have made the decision to take a stand against MAP testing. The MAP test does not reflect what students have learned over the course of a current school year. The test questions do not reflect the core curriculum that teachers within the district are encouraged or required to follow. A student that has done particularly well during the year in relation to the course work that is actually taught may do poorly on the MAP test due to no fault of his or her own. This creates an environment in which students that are putting their best foot forward may experience a potentially devastating self-esteem set back that could damage their future educational goals. It seems that success in the MAP test may be more reflective of the educational and/or economic successes of the child’s parents.
The NAACP has also heard that many schools within the district are using the MAP test to assess which students should be placed into Advanced Placement courses. This sort of tracking could have a devastating impact on children of color and children that find themselves living in poverty. Children whose parents may not have the resources to provide extracurricular learning activities may fare worse on this test than children who’s parents have the education and/or resources to assist their children. This is an inequitable result. Advanced placement decisions should be based upon the academic work and success in relation to information that is actually taught to students.
When it comes to education, every moment of instruction time is critical. Because the MAP test is computerized, computer labs in Seattle Schools are often closed to teachers who are trying to teach their children the core curriculum for three to four weeks. This level of academic interruption is unacceptable.
It is an unfortunate reality that many students still do not have access to computers and other forms of valuable technology within their home. For some, the school computer lab is one of the few places where students have the opportunity to develop technical skills that will be critical to future academic and economic success. Three to four week closures of computer labs over the course of a school year will likely have an adverse impact on many students who may not have access to such resources elsewhere.
The NAACP has traditionally stood for equity and equality in education. We believe that the MAP test leads to inequitable results and opportunities. As a result, we believe that the test should be suspended and the teachers should be supported.
Attorney at Law
President Seattle King County NAACP