“A beautiful thing happened today. Teachers at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy voted unanimously to refuse to administer the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT).”
JANUARY 21, 2014
On the one-year anniversary of the historic MAP test boycott, teachers launch campaign in the upcoming Seattle Education Association (SEA) union election.
Social Equality Educators (SEE) will introduce its “Respect” slate of candidates and education platform for the upcoming SEA union election at a January 30th Garfield Community Center forum.
The SEE Respect candidates for office will include a coalition of MAP boycott leaders, members of the current SEA Board of Directors, award-winning teachers, teachers new to the profession, and veteran educators, including:
- Jesse Hagopian, “Secondary Teacher of the Year,” Garfield High School, leader in MAP boycott — For SEA President
- Marian Wagner, National Board Certified Teacher, Salmon Bay K-8, current member of SEA Board of Directors — For SEA Vice President
- Dan Troccoli, current Vice President of the SEA Substitute Association, founding member of SEE — For SEA Treasurer
- And a slate of other candidates for the SEA Board of Directors
What: MAP Boycott Celebration/SEE Respect union candidates announcement
When: Thursday, January 30, at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Garfield Community Center (2323 E Cherry St, Seattle)
For more information:
Jesse Hagopian, email@example.com
“We have a bold vision for educating Seattle’s children,” said Jesse Hagopian, teacher and Black Student Union advisor at Garfield High School, and SEE’s “Respect” candidate for president in the upcoming Seattle Education Association election. “This month marks the one-year anniversary of the announcement by my colleagues at Garfield that they would defend students by refusing to administer the deeply flawed MAP test. That movement galvanized parents, students, and education advocates across the city and around the nation. Today, educators throughout Seattle — many of whom were inspired by our stand for authentic assessment — are organizing to bring this movement for an equitable, high-quality education into our union election.”
In January of 2013, teachers at Garfield High School began the “MAP test boycott,” a movement that was supported by the student body government and the PTSA. The boycott then spread to several other schools in Seattle, including Orca K-8, Chief Sealth International High School, Ballard High School, Center School, and Thornton Creek Elementary — while solidarity with the boycott spread around Seattle, the nation, and then around the world. The MAP test boycott by Seattle’s educators has been widely credited with having played a decisive role in transforming the debate around standardized tests in the U.S. — as was recently recognized in national media, including The Nation, Alternet, ColorLines magazine, and The Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet.”
“It was an extremely difficult decision to run for Vice President of the SEA because I don’t want to leave the classroom. I love the challenge of improving our world through teaching the next generation, but the education of our youth is not being supported systematically,” said Marian Wagner, 5th grade teacher at Salmon Bay K-8. “I can’t ignore the thunderous cry of phenomenal educators who are not being heard. I am agreeing to step and run on their behalf.”
The Social Equality Educators will host an award ceremony on January 30th to recognize the leadership and courage of teachers participating in the boycott. Teachers and prominent community leaders fighting for social justice will also speak briefly, followed by the announcement of SEE’s Respect slate of candidates.
“The Respect slate of candidates is made up of teachers who support valid, reliable assessment, responsible evaluation, and full funding for the education of Seattle’s students,” said Dan Troccoli, the current Vice President of the SEA Substitute Association. Educators will elaborate on the Respect platform at the event.
“As a teacher in the Seattle Public Schools and a SEA union representative for many years, I have never been so excited about an election before because of SEE’s ‘Respect’ slate of candidates,” said Roberta Lindeman, a teacher at Chief Sealth High School. “I’m confident that these educators will best represent Seattle’s students and educators, will fight for student and teacher assessment based on best practices, and will bring a voice of reason to education reform.”
Join us as we celebrate this important victory and launch the next campaign for education justice in Seattle!
Thursday, January 30th
Garfield Community Center
2323 E. Cherry St.
Seattle, WA 98122
Download the flyer and help spread the word!
This month marks the one year anniversary of the MAP test boycott. Sparked by teachers at Garfield High School and spread to high schools throughout the city, Seattle teachers have inspired educators, students, and parents to stand up to standardizing testing across the country! From Portland to Providence teachers are leading the fight for meaningful curriculum and assessment.
Join us as we celebrate this important victory and launch the next campaign for education justice in Seattle! The evening will begin with an awards ceremony to recognize the leadership and bravery of teachers participating in the boycott. We will then hear from teachers and community leaders fighting for social justice.
Mallory Clarke, Garfield reading specialist, MAP boycott leader
Matt Carter, Social Equality Educators steering committee member, MAP boycott leader
Marian Wagner, Seattle Education Association board member
Dan Troccoli, Vice President of Substitute Assoc. for Seattle Education Association
Jesse Hagopian, Garfield High School history teacher, MAP boycott leader
…and others forthcoming.
This event is open to teachers, support staff, parents, students, and the public.
“The MAP test boycott demonstrated that educators can insert their voice into the debate about education reform and rally and entire community to a better vision for the public schools. It’s your turn to make history in 2014!”
The MAP Boycott got a shout-out in the Washington Post as one of the best education news items in 2013:
* The successful boycott of the unnecessary MAP standardized test by teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle that spread to six other local schools and inspired educators everywhere. Teachers who participated in the boycott were not disciplined (as had been threatened) and using the MAP tests have now been made optional. Garfield teachers’ strategy of organizing a united front of teachers, parents and students demonstrated that collective action can have a major impact on education policy that affects our classrooms.
A Washington Heights elementary school has canceled the new standardized multiple-choice tests for the youngest public school students — after more than 80% of parents opted to have their kids sit out the exam.
Garfield teacher Jesse Hagopian appeared on MSNBC’s “Education Nation” during a Teacher Town Hall. This is a clip from his appearance where he responds to a question from Brian Williams: “You’re not against testing are you?”
Jesse H.: Well, teachers invented testing, so I’m not against testing, I’m not against assessment. But what I am against is the inundation of our classrooms with standardized testing. (Applause) It’s gotten completely out of hand. One parent in Chicago, when I went to speak there, told me their Kindergartener takes 14 tests a year. And this allows for no time for teaching. And I’m glad you raised Finland, because in Finland, one of the highest-ranked school systems in the world, they only have one standardized test.
And let me just say that I think we need to reframe what the purpose of education is, because I think it’s not just about career-ready and college-ready, I think it’s also about solving real-life problems that we have in our world. We have endless wars, economic stagnation, and we have mass incarceration, and climate change is threatening the future of humanity. And none of those problems can be solved by bubbling a, b, c, or d. (Applause)
I think we need to teach critical thinking and collaboration. I think we need to teach imagination and civic courage in our classrooms. And these tests are too small, too puny, to measure all of the skills my kids have. And I would suggest that we move to a system like Finland where we do performance-based assessments like when you get your Ph.D. (Applause) They don’t have you fill in bubbles at the Ph.D. level because they want you to be able to think and you’ve got to defend your evidence in front of a panel of experts. And I say let’s develop that in every grade level, in every subject, where you actually have to do research over time, defend a thesis, and actually explain yourself, right? A much better form of assessment in my opinion.