Victory for the Garfield teachers and other MAP boycotting schools in in Seattle!!

No teacher will be disciplined!

Superintendent Banda promised that teachers who boycotted the MAP test would be disciplined, but because of the overwhelming solidarity from around the nation, he was forced to back down. In his letter he tries to save face by saying that no test coordinators or teachers in tested subjects boycotted the test–which is just completely false, as just about every teacher at Garfield signed their name to the statement that saying they boycotted the test. I’m not sure how he could even suggest that!

Thanks to everyone who passed a resolution, demonstrated, raised money, emailed or called our Superintendent!

The below e-mail was sent to every educator in Seattle….


From: Banda, Jose L
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2013 10:14 AM
Subject: MAP assessment update

Dear Seattle Public Schools community,

Our community has engaged in a deep discussion during the last two months about the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, which provides data used for screening and analyzing student achievement and measuring growth over time.

While we know the MAP assessment has its strengths and limitations, it’s important for educators to use a variety of data sources to help inform classroom instruction. For many of our teachers and principals, the MAP assessment provides critical information to help screen our academically at-risk students so we can identify additional supports and provide more personalized attention, as well as measure their academic growth and improvement over time.

The latest testing period wrapped up on Feb. 28, and I wanted to share details of this assessment, as well as provide an update on future testing.

First of all, I want to thank our staff and schools for their ongoing work in administering assessments. I am pleased to report that every school administered the MAP assessment and met the testing deadline. There will be no discipline of any test administrator. Those teachers who publically said they refused to administer the test either did not teach a tested subject, or they were not a test administrator. However, I want to reiterate my hope that in the future we seek to address our concerns and issues in a more constructive manner, in a way that puts our students first.

Overall, nearly 30,000 students in the required grade levels (1st to 9th) completed the MAP assessment during the winter period. We did see a higher than usual number of high school students and families who opted out of taking the test. Districtwide, a total of 459 parents and 133 students opted-out. Of these opt-outs, 265 parents (58% of total) were from two district high schools (Garfield and Ingraham), and 129 students (97% of total) were from one high school (Garfield), A detailed accounting of winter MAP participation can be found here:

I want to thank the members of the Task Force on Assessment and Measuring Progress. This group of principal, teacher, student, family and community representatives has met four times since February and is charged with reviewing District assessment programs, including MAP, and making recommendations for next year and beyond. You can review the meeting minutes and agendas, as well as the names of task force members, here.

The task force is expected to make a recommendation to me in May regarding assessments for the 2013-14 school year.

In the meantime, our spring assessments will be held from April 22 – June 7. Beginning this spring, the District recommends that students enrolled in an Algebra 1 course take the NWEA Algebra End-of-Course (EOC) exam instead of Math 6+ test.

Based on a preliminary review of MAP by staff, we’ve made the following adjustment to our testing policy: For 9th grade, only students below standard based on the state reading assessment will be required to take the MAP reading test. It will be optional for 9th graders who are at or above standard in reading.

Again, I want to thank the teachers and community members for the ongoing dialogue about assessments, and I appreciate the Task Force’s commitment. I am pleased that we have been able to use this issue as an opportunity for us to all work together on a solution that best benefits our students.


José Banda
Seattle Public Schools

6 thoughts on “Victory for the Garfield teachers and other MAP boycotting schools in in Seattle!!

  1. The mark of a true leader is to acknowledge when he/she is wrong. That does not seem to be the case with Supt. Banda. The truth is that it took extreme measures to engage the district in a conversation about the test and that does not speak well of leadership. Thanks for standing up for the good of our children!

    • The district has been engaged in a discussion about these very issues of MAP over a year ago. However, not all teachers–like Jesse– would have known that. The boycott just made the work in progress more transparent.

  2. Congratulations to all the boycotting teachers, teachers supporting them, parents and other supporters, locally , nationally and internationally!! Don’t underestimate the impact this will have. Teachers and other opponents of Corporate Education Deform have already taken heart from the struggle and will now take even more encouragement. More people are organizing now around the U.S. Celebrate the victory—-but the struggle continues !!

  3. Be sure to read Banda’s letter everyone because the message posted on this site is misleading. Banda didn’t back down. Teachers who boycotted weren’t test administrators. While there are teachers across the city who support scrap the map, there are more teacheta that support the assessment. It’s best to always check in with different people within a large system like Seattle before you get caught up in one person’s propaganda.

  4. Pingback: Media Advisory: Another Win for Teachers, Students, and Parents Who Boycotted the MAP Test | Scrap the MAP!

  5. Pingback: Last Week’s News On Protests Against Educational DEforms | GFBrandenburg's Blog

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