Teachers to rally in opposition of MAP Assessment Test

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by HEATHER GRAF / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherGrafK5

KING5.com

Posted on January 22, 2013 at 8:55 PM

The cloud of controversy that so often surrounds standardized tests, on Wednesday, will put Seattle in the spotlight.

Teachers at Garfield High School began the push about two weeks ago.  They refused to administer the Measure of Academic Progress, or MAP test, because they feel it's a waste of resources and valuable instructional time in the classroom.

"It doesn't give us any useful information," said Jonathan Knapp, the president of the Seattle Education Assocation.

The SEA is one of several organizations that's now standing behind the teachers at Garfield.

The American Federation of Teachers, the San Diego Education Association, and the Iowa Education Association have also expressed their opposition to the MAP test, along with other local schools like Orca K-8, Salmon Bay K-8, Franklin High School, Ballard High School, West Seattle High School, Sanislo Elementary, and Schmitz Park Elementary.

On Wednesday at 4 p.m., teachers will hold a rally at school district headquarters.

In advance of that rally, KING 5 wanted to know how widely the MAP test is used, and exactly what teachers don't like about it.

We asked Knapp to review several sample questions from the test.  He did not like what he saw.

"It's kinda all over the place, which to me confirms largely what we're hearing from our teachers, which is that it doesn't focus on the curriculum you're teaching," he said.

Perhaps most important, he said the computerized test is adaptive, which means the questions change based on how a student answers them.  In other words, no two people are taking the same test, and no good, fair baseline to judge students and teachers.  

KING 5 posed several questions about the MAP test to Seattle Public Schools on Tuesday, but those questions have not yet been answered.

Instead, a spokesperson for the school system said Superintendent Jose Banda and other district officials will address concerns about the MAP test tomorrow, during a 3:15 p.m. news conference. 

According to Seattle Public Schools' website, the MAP test is used in 131 districts across the state, and taken by some three million students each year.

Knapp hopes teachers and district officials can work together to find a solution, and a better way to assess student growth.


 

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