Contact: Jesse Hagopian, Teacher, Garfield High School
The MAP test boycott by Seattle teachers has inspired teachers, parents, and community members across the country to take a stand for meaningful education for all students. Now, this momentum has spread across the Atlantic. As reported in The Guardian, the largest teachers union in Europe has initiated their own boycott of assessments that fail to improve student learning and take away valuable classroom time.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT), representing teachers in England, Wales, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, recently passed a motion calling for a boycott of spelling, punctuation and grammar tests for 11-year-olds and a reading check for six-year-olds – assessments that were introduced this year.
Teachers who voted for the motion expressed similar sentiments to those of Seattle teachers participating in the MAP test boycott. Specifically, they argue that the tests leave little time for art, music and books and make children feel like failures. Joan Edwards, a primary teacher from Birmingham, said “We as teachers want a more balanced education for our children. We want children to develop a love of reading, not reading for a test.”
Officers and members of the National Union of Teachers have sent messages of solidarity to the Seattle teachers involved in the boycott. Teachers at Garfield, Ballard, Center School, Chief Sealth, and Orca welcome this new development and support the NUT’s efforts to do what is best for their students.