MEDIA ADVISORY: Garfield Teachers Press Conference–Friday, February 22, 2013, 3:15 pm

–MEDIA ADVISORY–

Press Conference: Garfield High School stands strong against the MAP test

Where: Behind Garfield High School (on public property) on Alder St. between 23rd & 25th Ave

When: Friday, February 22, 2013, 3:15 pm

Contact: Jesse Hagopian, Teacher Garfield High School, jessedhagopian@gmail.com

—–

Superintendent Banda has promised “consequences,” Garfield teachers have promised quality education.

Garfield teachers could face unjust disciplinary measures from the school district, starting Friday, Feb. 22.

On the last day of the winter testing window, Garfield High School teachers call a press conference to announce the outcome of the Seattle School District’s attempt to implement the MAP test at Garfield.

Mass resistance to the MAP test leads to overwhelming numbers of parents and students opting out of the test

Movement for quality assessment gains momentum nationally

—–

What: The Seattle School District attempted to evade the unanimous vote against the MAP test by the organizations representing Garfield High School’s students, parents, and teachers when they forced the school administration to pull students out of class to take the test.

As Garfield High School reading teacher Mallory Clarke said, “The results of the District’s top-down mandates were twofold: First, our computer labs were unavailable for student use during the MAP test time. Second, it further united the Garfield community against the MAP test.” Clarke added, “What they didn’t achieve was any substantial number of students taking the test.”

As Chris McBride, Garfield’s Academic Dean and Testing Coordinator, reported, “The District’s goal of getting students to take the MAP test was overwhelmingly unmet.”

Even with the overt intimidation of the school district towards the administration, students and teachers at Garfield, McBride says, “Of the over 800 MAP tests that were supposed to be administered at Garfield during the winter testing window, only around 180 valid tests were administered — further demonstrating the unity of the Garfield community in the pursuit of quality assessment.”

Garfield teachers will be providing a full breakdown of the exact testing numbers at the press conference.

What: Friday, February 22nd, is the final day of the winter testing window in the Seattle Public Schools. This is the day that the superintendent could label Garfield teachers as insubordinate. He verbally told Garfield teachers that he would not suspend them for 10 days without pay, as originally threatened, but we haven’t received anything in writing nullifying those egregious charges, as we requested. Superintendent Banda also promised to Garfield teachers in a closed door meeting that, “There will be Consequences” given to Garfield teachers.

Garfield math teacher Jessica Griffin said of these threats, “It’s disheartening that the District would threaten teachers who are trying to stand up for better education opportunities for their students.”

Kit McCormick, Garfield LA teacher added, “These threats of reprimand by the district have not threatened the resolve of the Garfield teachers, or teachers around the city who are boycotting the MAP test.”

Garfield history teacher Jesse Hagopian said, “Teachers who are insubordinate against and unfair test are obedient to educational justice.” Hagopian added, “If they follow through with these threats to teacher’s livelihoods, people around the world will rally to support Garfield.”

Garfield teachers maintain they should not receive any disciplinary measures because:

  1. The students, parents, and teacher organizations at Garfield have all voted unanimously against the MAP–the Seattle School District should respect the unanimous voice of the education community they serve.
  2. When Garfield teachers refused to give the MAP, The Seattle School District pressured the Garfield administration to pull students out of class and make them take the test. That means that the test was administered–although the percentage of students who took the test was minuscule as hundreds of parents opted their students out of the test and hundreds of students refused to take it.
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