Educational Justice Has No Borders:
Join the May Day International Day of Solidarity
with the Seattle MAP Test Boycott
Seattle’s test boycotting teachers need your support for an “educators’ spring” uprising against the MAP test
Dear educators, parents, and students around the world,
On January 9, 2013, teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle announced their unanimous vote to boycott the district mandated Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test, which they said was not aligned to their curriculum, was a waste of their students’ time and resources, and unfairly targeted the most vulnerable populations. Specifically, Garfield’s teachers expressed their opposition to the fact that English Language Learner students are required to take the MAP test most often, causing them to miss out on vital instructional time in the classroom. In this way, the boycott of the MAP test should be viewed as part of the movement for the rights of immigrants and people from all cultures, nationalities, and linguistic backgrounds to have access to a high quality public education. Garfield High School’s Parent Teacher Student Association and the Associated Student Body Government both voted unanimously to support the teachers’ boycott of the MAP test.
Soon after, several other Seattle schools joined the boycott—Orca, Chief Sealth, Ballard, and Center School. Teachers at those schools were originally threatened with a 10 day suspension without pay, but because of the overwhelming solidarity from parents, teachers, and students from across the country, the Seattle School District backed down and declined to discipline any of the boycotting educators. Since then, several other schools have joined the boycott, a survey of Seattle teachers was conducted that shows overwhelming opposition to the MAP test at every grade level, and the movement for quality assessment has spread throughout the nation.
Now the Seattle teachers need your support again.
The spring offering of the MAP test produces the scores that are supposed to be used in Seattle’s teacher evaluations. For this reason the Seattle School District could take a harsher stance against boycotting teachers this time around.
May Day is traditionally a day of international workers solidarity. What better time to show your support for the teachers who have risked their livelihoods to advocate for quality assessment and for our resources to be used to support learning rather than endless testing?
We, the Seattle MAP test boycotting teachers, pledge our solidarity to teachers around the world who are struggling for an education system that supports and empowers our students with curriculum and assessments that are relevant to their lives. In turn, we ask for your support as we struggle for these very goals.
Possible solidarity actions include: wearing red and taking a photo with a message of solidarity and emailing it to us (firstname.lastname@example.org), calling the Seattle superintendent and asking him to cancel the contract with the NWEA for the MAP test, having a speaker at your May Day rally address the MAP boycott and the abuses of standardized testing, or boycotting a flawed test in your region.
Furthermore, we, the MAP test boycotting teachers, would very much appreciate being informed about struggles teachers are engaged in around the world. Please let us know if there are any ways we can support your efforts for educational justice.
Seattle MAP Test Boycott Committee