Tomorrow, Friday, February 22nd is a big day for the national movement against high stakes standardized testing. That’s when the window for administering the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test expires for Seattle public schools.
Schools usually have a “window” of dates during which they can administer standardized tests. The window allows administrators to schedule make-up test sessions for students who are absent, for example.
Technically speaking, the brave teachers in Seattle who have decided to boycott the MAP test this year have not officially done so until the window for administering the test has closed.
Tomorrow, all of those teachers will officially be insubordinate. At that point, the superintendent, José Banda will have to make a decision about whether or not to punish the teachers who have boycotted the test.
Banda has an opportunity here to write his name in history next to those of the teachers. If he chooses to honor their integrity and courage, he will be hailed as a hero and visionary by parents, teachers and students nationwide.
The original threat that was widely reported in the media — 10 days suspension without pay — was withdrawn verbally, but not in writing.
Unfortunately, Banda has maintained the stance that “there will be consequences” for the boycotting teachers.
Either way, Friday, February 22nd will be an important date for the national movement against high stakes standardized testing.
Now would be a perfect time to let the superintendent Banda know that you think these teachers should be praised, not punished. Call his office, or send him an email:
José Banda, Superintendent
Phone: (206) 252-0180
Not sure what exactly to say? Here are some ideas that were sent to me by a Garfield High School teacher.
THREE REASONS GARFIELD & SEATTLE TEACHERS SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED:
1) Teachers who are insubordinate against an unfair test are obedient to educational justice!
2) 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.
3) 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 technically 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.