Washington Community Action Network (Washington CAN!) is an organization that is dedicated to advancing racial, social and economic justice. In this vein, we’re happy to support the teachers that are taking a strong stance against MAP testing.
At the most basic level, MAP testing takes away valuable time and energy that could be used towards broadening student’s knowledge and providing assistance and support for students who are often left behind. Since MAP testing does not reflect core curriculum, preparing students for the test is a distraction that does not benefit either the students, or the teachers.
By using the test to evaluate teachers success, this also incentives teachers to place more of an emphasis on MAP testing and results than on teaching core curriculum. The goal of educating our children should be to provide students with concrete skills, knowledge and resources to prepare them for future success. Not to mention that MAP testing is extremely expensive and drains valuable resources from the education system.
This is also a clear racial equity issue. Standardized tests are not culturally competent, nor are they an accurate judge of a student’s intelligence. They’re more often a reflection of the educational and economic status of a student’s parents. Using this test data to track students into AP classes therefore puts students of color and low-income students at a distinct disadvantage, furthering the growing disparities we see in our educational system.
Data from OSPI shows that it will take 45-50 years to close the opportunity gap here in Washington. It’s time for us to start focusing on expanding access, opportunity and resources to all students so that we can ensure everyone has a fair shot at success.
We’re happy to stand in solidarity with the teachers that are taking a stance against ineffective testing. We believe that teachers are the best suited to make decisions about what’s working and what isn’t in the classroom and it’s inspiring to see teachers that are so dedicated to the long-term success of their students. Given that our state is inadequately funding education, it’s time to support real solutions that can provide students with the resources they need to thrive.