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1
It's great to see Seattle teachers and parents taking a stand against misguided testing. Meanwhile, some legislators, The Seattle Times and other non-educators keep demanding more "reform." Instead of more testing and more "reform," we need to adequately fund our public schools as the state Constitution mandates. Read more.
www.ourvoicewashingtonea.org.
Posted by Rich Wood on January 21, 2013 at 12:43 PM · Report this
2
Crazy to waste money and learning time on tests when too many kids are in a classroom. Money should be spent on learning not testing.
Posted by Tripster on January 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 3
Yay Garfield teachers. Go, go, go!
Posted by Reverse Polarity on January 21, 2013 at 1:04 PM · Report this
4
My kid's K-8 probably won't join the boycott because the school is weak. Anything good and profitable to the school the admin and PTSA ignore.
Posted by JAParent on January 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM · Report this
5
@4

do you volunteer? no matter your work schedule, income, or number of children; no one has any right to bitch unless they are part of the solution, not the problem-parents more so. it isn't a baby sitting service. take the hour that you spend surfing on the net and volunteer at your local school. just making photocopies helps a teacher spend another hour helping one student that needs that one on one time.
Yeah garfield teachers!! garfield has some of the most remarkable programsin the nation. I sincerely hope they don't loose their federal funding for these programs. that, unfortunately, is a backlash of W's no child let ahead garbage.
Posted by pussnboots on January 21, 2013 at 2:04 PM · Report this
6
@5 I used to. I was a treasurer, tutored kids, my kid and I were left to deal with huge #s of paper to collate on our own because a bunch of volunteers bailed or were no-shows, then got bitched out by the next day's volunteers for not having them done, I made food for school tours that the coordinator never bothered to tell me when and where to deliver and the admin didn't have a clue. Witnessed the PTSA president be rude to my kid when he suggested an afterschool enrichment activity. Volunteers burned out on rude, incompetent and stuck-up parents have every reason to bitch.
Posted by pussnboots assumes facts not in evidence on January 21, 2013 at 2:41 PM · Report this
7
Goodloe-Johnson didn't just usher in MAP testing. She did so while serving on the board of directors of the for-profit corporation that markets the test (a clear ethical lapse). And the school district is using the test in a way that even that corporation finds unproductive.
Posted by gnossos on January 21, 2013 at 3:03 PM · Report this
8
Not only did Maria Goodloe-Johnson usher in the MAP tests--she sat on the board of the company that produces the tests, a clear ethics violation.
Posted by Nick H on January 21, 2013 at 3:03 PM · Report this
melanies 9
It's been a little confusing for Salmon Bay parents. first, a letter was emailed in support of the MAP testing, and that we could "opt out" if we like, then a few days later an email from my son's third grade teacher informing us that he was opting out of giving his students this test, and that we could "opt in" if we like. I support Salmon Bay teachers in their stance on MAP testing, and I trust their judgement in knowing that one single test cannot determine the capabilities and knowledge of our students. Standardized, cookie cutter education, expectations and subsequent labeling of student's capabilities based on a test is a poor system that must be challenged.
Posted by melanies on January 21, 2013 at 3:03 PM · Report this
10
I swear Nick H (in @8) and I are not the same person. That was uncanny!
Posted by gnossos on January 21, 2013 at 3:05 PM · Report this
11
@6

I agree. There were only two of us that volunteered regularly. neither of us were on the PTA. none of the pta members actually volunteered except for events. both sets of our children are grown and in high school now. I still volunteer when they call and ask. last time they almost cancelled a field tripsure to lack of chaperones.
It still must upset you when you hear other parents complain about the schools, knowing they never even show up for open house.
What the garfield teachers are doing is awesome. They are more then stepping up. we should as well. no matter if we have children or they are grown.
Posted by pussnboots on January 21, 2013 at 3:10 PM · Report this
12
@11 Yes I agree what the Garfield and some K-8 schools are doing is awesome. I am moving to Shoreline this year because our school district has pisspoor capacity planning skills and my area is hurting because of it. I look forward to contributing as a volunteer again in a school with less conceited and more broad-minded (this present school is the only one in its cluster that does not receive Target RedCard monies: I submitted the idea to three different people) support community.
Posted by JA Parent sucked dry on January 21, 2013 at 3:27 PM · Report this
13
The MAP test is pointless at Garfield. This is Mr. Banda's opportunity to show whether he bases his leadership on authoritarianism or on academics.

If he presses this, he will show himself to be a martinet rather than an educator.
Posted by Charlie Mas on January 21, 2013 at 4:54 PM · Report this
14
Educational progress shown by one number!
Preposterous, correct?
Time to do something about GPA!!
Posted by CA teacher on January 21, 2013 at 6:14 PM · Report this
15
One more reason to vote against another billion for the corrupt schools. They can't even test the pupils? VOTE NO.
Posted by Mister G on January 21, 2013 at 7:11 PM · Report this
16
There has been enough time for anhyone to gather information, analyze, evaluate, and predict what the corporate reforms have done. Twenty years of trial and error have rendered nothing of serious consideration. High stakes testing is not just one of these failed attempts to improve public education, it is the one that drives the arbitrary punitive part of the reforms. This rejection constitutes a reasonable decision by the teachers. Now, it has the potential to become a precedent for every public school teacher to do the same not only to show solidairty and support, but to join them and form a national effort to stop the unwarranted corporate reforms and start a proper assessment of the situation of the American Public Education.
Who wins, who loses, who cares?
In solidarity,
Sergio Flores
Posted by serflo1 on January 21, 2013 at 7:26 PM · Report this
17
@12
I am glad we are on the same page now. I didn't mean to insult you. My oldest is in Aviation high, it is one of two PUBLIC charter schools ran in Washington state. They focus mostly on math and science. No sports teams are permitted (they are bussed to the local high schools for sports) they need the focus on the robotics and olympiad teams.
Garfield is a magnet for artists; paint, jazz, drama, and mostly writing. All of these are important.
As a taxpayer watching SPS swindle so much money... grit teeth. This is defenitley a stand that is worth taking. I wonder if Garfield should think about repositioning themselves as a PUBLIC charter. They of course need a charter stating there intentions. But I am worried that it would eliminate the AP program. In fact, possibly the jazz program. Does anyone know more about this?
Posted by pussnboots on January 21, 2013 at 10:41 PM · Report this
18
I am concerned about the lack of comments. This is not a dead horse. Both my children scored extremely high on the maps for the last two years running. My nephew did not. This is a kid that just rebuilt his skateboard by his own hand; platform and everything. He also took apart his moms toaster and made it more effective, He used two transformers, but still... Maps are not well accountable for each student. They take them three times a year. Imagine the time spent teachers would have to teach students.
My current school district does not allow children to flunk in elementary. They call in CPS for attendance; but they still don't flunk them. How can maps mean anything with these policies?
Think of it as a teacher issue. What the SPS wastes in this issue matters nothing. What matters is the time teachers spend with thier students. It isn't just pathetic, it is wrong..
Thank you Garfield teachers.
Posted by pussnboots on January 22, 2013 at 12:35 AM · Report this
19
Those most in favor of the tests are those most distant from the classroom: politicians, publishing houses, business leaders. These tests provide huge profits for the publishers and political cover for the politicians, but nothing of value for the students. Those who see the harm done by these tests and who have been forced to administer them year after year have finally said enough, that they will do no harm.
Teachers are not against assessment; we assess every moment of every day. And when it comes to accountability, where is the accountability from our public and private leaders who have steered the richest nation in the history of the world in such a way that nearly half of us live in poverty or near poverty, without health care, food security, or job security.
Thank you, Garfield teachers, for standing up for all of us. Hopefully your actions will inspire teachers around the country to stand up.

Doug Selwyn
Plattsburgh NY
Posted by Doug Selwyn on January 22, 2013 at 2:47 AM · Report this
20
SEAAC (Superintendent's Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Committee) and concerned parents stand with the Garfield High School staff in opposing the MAP test for any use in high schools. The test covers materials not routinely taught to general education students. There is no reason for the test, and the results aren't used for any purpose benefitting the students. SEAAC further believes that MAP testing should not be used to evaluate educators. We hope the district moves away from more standards based testing, and away from more standardization. Our students are not standard. Who wants kids to be standard anyway?

SEAAC believes that the MAP testing and the agenda moving schools towards standards-based education is an indignity for students with disabilities and others as well. The whole point of these standardized tests is to create failures; first the students and then the teachers. Being "nonstandard" is not a failure for our students, nor our teachers, nor our schools. Diversity and standardization are incompatible.

If everyone did well on standardized tests or "measured to standard", we would say: "The test is too easy. Everybody passed it." Instead, we create tests that have failures built-in by design. The only question remaining: "Who will those failures be?" The answer is: "Whoever wrote the test will pass the test. Others will fail." Failure is the design of MAP. After all, somebody has to fail them or why have the tests at all?

Especially problematic is the latest fad in education reform: Teacher evaluation based on standardized tests. Students with disabilities already face an uphill battle in every class they attend. If schools really wanted to teach students with disabilities, there would be no need for the law, IDEA, mandating it. Students with disabilities already take tests routinely. They are poked, prodded and measured countless times as is. Standards based tests reflect disability, not ability. More testing confirming disability does not benefit our students with disabilities and it doesn't measure teacher effectiveness.

Teacher evaluation based on MAP sets up a whole system of perverse and discriminatory incentives against students with disabilities. Student ability is pitted against teachers. Teachers are incented to remove students with disabilities from their classrooms to improve their own evaluations. That exacerbates the existing reluctance to educate inclusively. Schools are incented to funnel any poorly performing group into segregated settings, often special education settings, where the impact of the resulting evaluation can most effectively be minimized. One could imagine a school where every poorly performing student was stuck with a single teacher, probably the newest one. That way, only one teacher would have to take the hit for "poor results" and for evaluation. All the other teachers would be stars. Look at most high schools, indeed you will find segregation along those performance lines. Segregation doesn't benefit our students.

Where does the district think our children will end up? At the bottom once again. After all, we already know our students need help with comprehension or math. That's why we have IEPs. Without the supports and resources our children need, the MAP RIT scores are just a piece of paper. It would seem the district is failing in providing the necessary supports, because, as a group, special education students' scores continue to trend downward; downward to the point that 8th graders have predicted grade levels five to six grades lower. We have not seen any evidence towards improved outcomes for students with disabilities since the advent of the MAP testing. Where are the results from the expense of the MAP?

Evidence of the lack of care and thought in MAP testing is that our children are REGULARLY denied their accommodations for the MAP. How does MAP testing somehow take precedence over the necessary accommodations on the IEP?

Finally, standardization and standards-based tests and grading are misused to deny our secondary students access to extracurricular activities like sports or clubs. Grades are used as gatekeepers, and our students are often left out, again. Of course, parents in the know, and parents who have the time to advocate for their children can circumvent these roadblocks. Once again, standardization minimizes the educational experience of students with disabilities.

We stand with Garfield High School Teachers in their endeavors to not give a test that promotes failure. As far as students with disabilities are concerned, this test should not be given as it is useless and demoralizing to students with unique learning profiles.
More...
Posted by Special education parent on January 22, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
21
reposting for unregistered comment:

SEAAC (Superintendent's Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Committee) and concerned parents stand with the Garfield High School staff in opposing the MAP test for any use in high schools. The test covers materials not routinely taught to general education students. There is no reason for the test, and the results aren't used for any purpose benefitting the students. SEAAC further believes that MAP testing should not be used to evaluate educators. We hope the district moves away from more standards based testing, and away from more standardization. Our students are not standard. Who wants kids to be standard anyway?

SEAAC believes that the MAP testing and the agenda moving schools towards standards-based education is an indignity for students with disabilities and others as well. The whole point of these standardized tests is to create failures; first the students and then the teachers. Being "nonstandard" is not a failure for our students, nor our teachers, nor our schools. Diversity and standardization are incompatible.

If everyone did well on standardized tests or "measured to standard", we would say: "The test is too easy. Everybody passed it." Instead, we create tests that have failures built-in by design. The only question remaining: "Who will those failures be?" The answer is: "Whoever wrote the test will pass the test. Others will fail." Failure is the design of MAP. After all, somebody has to fail them or why have the tests at all?

Especially problematic is the latest fad in education reform: Teacher evaluation based on standardized tests. Students with disabilities already face an uphill battle in every class they attend. If schools really wanted to teach students with disabilities, there would be no need for the law, IDEA, mandating it. Students with disabilities already take tests routinely. They are poked, prodded and measured countless times as is. Standards based tests reflect disability, not ability. More testing confirming disability does not benefit our students with disabilities and it doesn't measure teacher effectiveness.

Teacher evaluation based on MAP sets up a whole system of perverse and discriminatory incentives against students with disabilities. Student ability is pitted against teachers. Teachers are incented to remove students with disabilities from their classrooms to improve their own evaluations. That exacerbates the existing reluctance to educate inclusively. Schools are incented to funnel any poorly performing group into segregated settings, often special education settings, where the impact of the resulting evaluation can most effectively be minimized. One could imagine a school where every poorly performing student was stuck with a single teacher, probably the newest one. That way, only one teacher would have to take the hit for "poor results" and for evaluation. All the other teachers would be stars. Look at most high schools, indeed you will find segregation along those performance lines. Segregation doesn't benefit our students.

Where does the district think our children will end up? At the bottom once again. After all, we already know our students need help with comprehension or math. That's why we have IEPs. Without the supports and resources our children need, the MAP RIT scores are just a piece of paper. It would seem the district is failing in providing the necessary supports, because, as a group, special education students' scores continue to trend downward; downward to the point that 8th graders have predicted grade levels five to six grades lower. We have not seen any evidence towards improved outcomes for students with disabilities since the advent of the MAP testing. Where are the results from the expense of the MAP?

Evidence of the lack of care and thought in MAP testing is that our children are REGULARLY denied their accommodations for the MAP. How does MAP testing somehow take precedence over the necessary accommodations on the IEP?

Finally, standardization and standards-based tests and grading are misused to deny our secondary students access to extracurricular activities like sports or clubs. Grades are used as gatekeepers, and our students are often left out, again. Of course, parents in the know, and parents who have the time to advocate for their children can circumvent these roadblocks. Once again, standardization minimizes the educational experience of students with disabilities.

We stand with Garfield High School Teachers in their endeavors to not give a test that promotes failure. As far as students with disabilities are concerned, this test should not be given as it is useless and demoralizing to students with unique learning profiles.
More...
Posted by burb on January 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM · Report this
SporLin 22
This is the first step of protest, the next step should bring public awareness to the policy no one is talking about....and legislators are flying under the radar...Class of 2013....16,000 students on track to graduate, have their credits, will have completed their senior project, but these students will be denied their HS diploma if they do not pass the state math exam!! No consideration of the students other gifts and abilities....they wii be thrown out as dropouts. Wake-up Seattle, thousands of these kids are in every one of your high schools. These students have the ability to be successful and contributing members of society. They will enter career paths that are not dependent upon Algebra or Geometry. OSPI and Olympia do not want you be aware of this punitive policy. This critical issue needs to be addressed before thousands of very capable students....who just happen to struggle in math, we not get their HS diploma and turned into dropouts. Think about it, thousands of kids that will move forward in life and be contributors to our tax revenue or thousands are rejected and become dependent upon on the taxpayer. One dropout costs the taxpayer $292,000 over their life time. Our legislators who are elected to be good stewards of our tax dollars.....are going to create a tax burden we will not be able to sustain. Every parent, teacher, and principal should be in the streets screaming to stop the train before it crashes in June.
Posted by SporLin http://Acestoohigh.com on January 23, 2013 at 7:58 PM · Report this
23
"We need to adequately fund our schools". Get serious! If all it took was money, every student in a USA classroom would be an Einstein. Teachers always say we need more money, more funds, more taxpayers dollars to flush down the toliet. Of course the teachers don't want the students to be evaluated; then we as parents would know that certain teachers should never step foot in a classroom. So many, if not all schools play the lemon dance which in turns make the good teachers look like bafoons. Some teachers are only in the "teaching" field because if they had to get a real job they would be evaluated, then terminated!!!!
Posted by HotnAZ on January 29, 2013 at 7:22 PM · Report this
24
Teachers only want to get rid of the standardized testing because it reflects how well students are/aren't being taught. Teachers don't want to be held acountable for their enept teaching skills or knowledge on the subject they are supposed to be teaching. Of course the testing of students are a reflection of what they have learned and an evaluaton on the teachers. Duh!!
Everyone I know of who work in the private sectors always have an evaluation at least once a year. If teachers were to be evaluated like the private sector, they would indeed be TERMINATED as they should be. If more money were the answer to better learning all of our students would be graduating as Einsteins, and not scratching their heads trying to read second grade material in the 12th grade. The biggest and most important step is to get rid of the the teachers union!!!! Getting paid for not doing your job, retirement benefits, medical benefits and a vacation package, and a union that helps all that, no wonder those who can't teach are teachers. What a heck of a gig!!
Posted by HotnAZ on January 29, 2013 at 7:41 PM · Report this
25
No more comments yet!
Posted by HotnAZ on January 29, 2013 at 8:31 PM · Report this
26
How do I get involved helping support these boycotts and protests?
Posted by BillSpiderman on March 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
27
I would like to learn more about Garfield's chaperoning challenges. Is anyone willing to comment?
Posted by Highschoolparent on May 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this

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