Boycott of MAP Assessment Test gains support

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by HEATHER GRAF / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherGrafK5

KING5.com

Posted on January 21, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 22 at 12:39 AM

A boycott of an assessment test that began at Garfield High School is now gaining strength and support throughout Seattle.

At a news conference held Monday morning, teachers, students, and parents came together to voice their concerns about the MAP test, and discuss the progress made so far in a fight to stop it.

Organizers feel the Measure of Academic Progress, or MAP test, is a waste of resources that robs students of instructional time.

They said MLK day was the perfect time to take a stand.

"I think it's propitious to look at the date today and understand whose life we're celebrating today.  Dr. King called all of us to a dream, and it's still a dream that we have to live up to," said Jonathan Knapp, who is President of the Seattle Education Association.

Since a group of Garfield High School teachers first refused to administer the MAP test, they've gotten support in the form of thousands of 'likes' on Facebook, and thousands of signatures on a petition.

Among the most notable names on that petition are former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, along with the president of the Chicago Teachers Union.

Nearly a dozen teachers and parents spoke at the news conference, calling the MAP Test a high stakes standardized test that is overused and overrated.

Some also made the argument that the tests cost a great deal of money, and say that in Seattle Public Schools the MAP test is used only to evaluate teachers.

For that reason, they say many students don't take the test seriously.

"Garfield High School has already made it clear we refuse to give a test that's bad for our students, but this is way bigger than Garfield High School now," said Garfield High School teacher Jesse Hagopian.

He believes the solution is to find a better way to assess student growth.

The American Federation of Teachers, the San Diego Education Association, the Iowa Education Association, and the Seattle Education Association have all expressed their support for the MAP boycott.

A rally against the MAP test is set for Wednesday, January 23rd at four p.m.  It will take place at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence, at 2445 3rd Avenue South.

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