Contact: Jesse Hagopian, Teacher Garfield High School,
Superintendent Banda has promised “consequences,” Garfield teachers have promised quality education.
Winter testing window is extended–Garfield teachers could now face unjust disciplinary measures from the school district, starting Friday, March 1st.
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.”
Break down of MAP testing numbers at Garfield:
  • For the winter round of MAP testing there were 810 tests originally scheduled.  This is NOT the number of students who took the test – keep in mind that some students were to take 1 test and others were scheduled to take 2 tests.
  • At the end of the testing window there were 184 completed tests, 124 in reading and 60 in math.  Again, this is not necessarily the number of students who completed tests.
  • There were 104 invalid tests, 69 in reading and 35 in math.  This generally means that the students just clicked random buttons on the computer and finished the test too quickly for the results to be considered valid.
  • There were 273 opt out notices.  Some of those students who were opted out were scheduled to take 1 test, and some were scheduled to have 2 tests.
  • There were 170 incidences of refusal.  This means that a student either refused to come to the computer lab for testing or they refused to take the test once they were at the computer.  Some students walked out after logging in, for example.  Again, the 170 is the number of tests, not students.
  • Just to be clear, if you examine the numbers and think that they “don’t add up”, it is because  some of the numbers deal with number of TESTS but the opt out information is for the numbers of individual STUDENTS.

What: While MAP testing is done at Garfield (largely due to the large numbers of students who opted out of the test), according to media sources, the Seattle School District granted a one-week extension for map testing.  This means that Friday, March 1st is the new final day of the winter testing window in the Seattle Public Schools.  This is now the day that the superintendent could label Garfield teachers–and other teachers from schools boycotting the test–as insubordinate. He verbally told Garfield teachers that he would not suspend them for 10 days without pay, as originally threatened, but teachers 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.  (The teachers’ statement against the MAP is here).

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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