Solidarity Resolution from the United Educators of San Francisco Executive Board

Resolution in Support of Garfield High School Teachers

Whereas UESF believes that testing should be the servant of instruction; and

Whereas, UESF believes it is a far greater task to teach, engage and inspire our students then administer standardized test after test; and

Whereas, Seattle Education Association members at Garfield High School refuse to administer the MAPS tests putting careers and livelihood at risk; and

Whereas, among other critical points the MAP is not aligned with Washington State standards and still teachers are partially evaluated on these test scores; and

Whereas, the MAP test is administered three times a year and takes away critical instruction time and monopolizes the computer labs for weeks at a time; and

Whereas, the Garfield High School jazz program is recognized on the national level, producing great musicians including Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix, indicative of the creative teaching and learning on that campus; and

Whereas, Seattle Education Association, Washington Education Association, NEA, AFT and CTA all support the Garfield High teachers; and

Whereas, Seattle Education Association passed a resolution calling on the district to end MAP testing as soon as possible; and

Whereas, Montgomery County, Maryland Superintendent Joshua Starr calls evaluating teachers based on standardized test scores “bad science” and also that we need to “stop the insanity”; and

Whereas, Dianne Ravitch stated on Seattle radio, “ they (Garfield teachers) were acting in the finest tradition of American resistance to unjust authority…”

Therefore Be it Resolved that UESF offer our full support to Garfield High teachers and the Seattle Education Association in their just struggle against abusive high stakes testing; and

Be it Finally Resolved that UESF continue to support multiple measures, aligned to state standards taught in the classroom, and developed by teachers, to assess our students’ academic achievement.

Passed at the February 6, 2013 meeting of the UESF Executive Board

The UESF Executive Board also passed two related resolutions on the same date (below).

Resolution for an In-Depth-Study

Whereas the Seattle Garfield High School teachers have inspired U.E.S.F. by their recent resolve to refuse to administer the MAP test; and

Whereas UESF believes it is a far greater task to teach, engage and inspire students than administer standardized test after test.

Be it resolved that UESF do an in-depth study of the battery of required assessments used in SFSD to be published by the end of the school year

Passed at the February 6, 2013 meeting of the UESF Executive Board


WHEREAS, our nation’s future well-being relies on a high-quality public education system that prepares all students for college, careers, citizenship and lifelong learning, and strengthens the nation’s social and economic well-being; and

WHEREAS, our nation’s school systems have been spending growing amounts of time, money and energy on high-stakes standardized testing, in which student performance on standardized tests is used to make major decisions affecting individual students, educators and schools; and

WHEREAS, the overreliance on high-stakes standardized testing in state and federal accountability systems is undermining educational quality and equity in U.S. public schools by hampering educators’ efforts to focus on the broad range of learning experiences that promote the innovation, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, communication, critical thinking  and deep subject-matter knowledge that will allow students to thrive in a democracy and an increasingly global society and economy; and

WHEREAS, it is widely recognized that standardized testing is an inadequate and often unreliable measure of both student learning and educator effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, the over-emphasis on standardized testing has caused considerable collateral damage in too many schools, including narrowing the curriculum, teaching to the test, reducing love of learning, pushing students out of school, driving excellent teachers out of the profession, and undermining school climate; and

WHEREAS, high-stakes standardized testing has negative effects for students from all backgrounds, and especially for low-income students, English language learners, children of color, and those with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the culture and structure of the systems in which students learn must change in order to foster engaging school experiences that promote joy in learning, depth of thought and breadth of knowledge for students; therefore be it

RESOLVED that United Educators of San Francisco calls on the governor, state legislature and state education boards and administrators to reexamine public school accountability systems in this state, and to develop a system based on multiple forms of assessment which does not require extensive standardized testing, more accurately reflects the broad range of student learning, and is used to support students and improve schools; and

RESOLVED, that United Educators of San Francisco calls on the U.S. Congress and Administration to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (currently known as the “No Child Left Behind Act”), reduce the testing mandates, promote multiple forms of evidence of student learning and school quality in accountability, and not mandate any fixed role for the use of student test scores in evaluating educators.

Passed at the February 6, 2013 meeting of the UESF Executive Board


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