Frederick County Teachers Association Solidarity Resolution

Frederick County Teachers Association

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF SEATTLE TEACHERS- February 7th, 2013

WHEREAS: THE USE OF STANDARDIZED TESTS IS SPREADING. In response to the demands of the Race to the Top program, and to the trend toward greater “accountability” in education, states are developing even more tests for more subjects. Standardized tests, once used to assess student learning, have now become the main instrument for evaluating teachers, administrators, and even entire schools and school systems.

WHEREAS: TESTS CONSUME A GREAT DEAL OF TIME AND MONEY. Standardized testing is consuming an ever-growing proportion of education budgets nationwide.

WHEREAS: TESTING HURTS STUDENTS. In the name of “raising standards” the growth of high stakes testing has effectively lowered them. As the stakes for tests are raised higher and higher, schools have been forced to spend less time on arts, sciences, social studies, and other valuable content areas, and more time on tested subjects.

WHEREAS: RESEARCH DOES NOT SUPPORT USING RESULTS FROM STANDARDIZED TESTS TO EVALUATE TEACHERS. Research shows that nearly 90% of variability in standardized test results is attributable to factors other than the teacher. So-called “value-added” models for teacher evaluation have a large margin of error and are not reliable measures of teacher performance.

WHEREAS: The Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test was adopted by a former Seattle Public Schools superintendent who also served on the board of the company that made the test. She was later dismissed by the school board for this action, which the state auditor termed an “ethics violation.”

WHEREAS: The MAP is a major component of teacher evaluation in the Seattle Public Schools, yet the testing company has stated that the test is not designed for that purpose. Furthermore, the margin of error for the test is greater than the required student progress on the test.

WHEREAS: Teachers at Garfield High School and other Seattle Public Schools have been told by the Superintendent that they will be suspended for 10 days without pay if they refuse to administer the MAP.

WHEREAS: Seattle teachers have received support from their local PTSA, their local union, AFT President Randi Weingarted and NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, with Van Roekel calling the test boycott “a defining moment within the education profession.”

RESOLVED: the Frederick County Teachers Association supports the staff at Garfield High School in Seattle and other Seattle Public Schools who voted unanimously to refuse to administer the state’s Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test.

FURTHER RESOLVED: We pledge $100 to the MAP Boycott Solidarity Fund.

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