What Role Do Parents Play in Boycott of Standardized MAP Tests?

Comments

1
That's the John "Stanford" Center. But keep on posting against testing in schools if only to not prove your point.
2
"standardized testing was heavily biased based on circumstance and opportunity"

Oh lordy, you can't have any standards these days. I mean, why don't they test for ebonics, rapping and carjacking?
3
The test does not go to all students in the district. It only goes to K-9 graders. Most of the students at Garfield are not even supposed to take the MAP.
4
Yes! Melissa Westbrook kicks ass!!

Also, the MAP test is waste of time, money, and resources for Garfield students.

The test was supposed to be a formative assessment, a tool for teachers to individualize instruction. That is the test's only legitimate purpose. Unfortunately the school district, to save money, never trained the teachers on how to interpret the results nor gave them any time to interpret the results or to plan these individualized lessons. So the MAP fails utterly in it's one legitimate purpose. It is a useless tool for teachers and the teachers would rather do without it.

Ah, but then the test started to be used for a lot of purposes other than its one legitimate purpose. The District started using it as if it were an achievement test to screen students for access to advanced learning programs and advanced classes. Except not at Garfield or any other high school, so that reason to continue the test isn't valid at Garfield.

Then the District decided to use the MAP as a value-added measure to try to determine "teacher effectiveness". Except that the test was never designed to do that and, since it tests students on knowledge and skill from outside the curriculum it isn't a reliable measure of the teachers' effectiveness at teaching the curriculum.

Now the District wants to use the test as a diagnostic test to determine if students are succeeding with Tier 1 instruction in MTSS. They no longer even classify the MAP as a formative assessment but as a diagnostic and screening test. Only this is not an appropriate use of the MAP either.

The teachers at Garfield have, for years, tried to raise issues about MAP for years, but the district officials have ignored them. They had to take this step - a public boycott - to get the District to respond. And it has worked. Now the District says that they will review their assessments. Sure, now. Not before they renewed the subscription on the MAP, but now, after the Garfield teachers took it to the press.

We need a school district leadership that responds to the legitimate concerns of their professional staff instead of just responding to bad press, the threat of litigation, or the siren call of grant donors.
5
ZOMG! 45 minutes? Holy shit, we cannot afford to be wasting 45 minutes dicking around on a computer. These children have probably never sat in front of a computer for that long before. And THREE times a year? Fuck, I can barely count that high. That is like, so many times.

I hope they burn the computers to make sure that children are never again subjected to spending 45 minutes in front of one three times a year again.
6
The test is worse than useless for K-2, high school, kids who are exceedingly advanced, kids who are exceedingly behind, non-english speakers, special ed kids. Sure it helps some kids in some cases. So what. We don't have the time or money for MAP. The only people in town who looooooovvvvvveeee it are the powerpoint business set (who never could teach, even if they tried) at The Alliance for Education and a bunch of rabid reformers at The Gates Foundation. But then, the business world brought us the Global Fiscal Meltdown. Why not trust that they know best?
7
This parent is for the MAP. The point is not one test at one point in time. It's to lay down a set of trend data for your own kid to measure progress against him/her self. It's very helpful.
8
If you're using a strand of MAP results to "measure progress" then what do you do with that data? How is that kind of data helpful? What does it help you do? What decisions do you base on that data?
9
The superintendent says that teachers who refuse to give the tests will be considered insubordinate and will be penalized accordingly, starting with 10 days' no pay. Teachers should consider that carefully and realize they don't change policy unilaterally without the aid of administrators or parents.
10
First, thanks for the "kick-ass" comment on my work. I try to ask the questions that I'm not sure others will ask.

I can only say that this is the fifth year of this test. Teachers know what the MAP is and isn't.

The MAP is being used in ways the company never planned. They have stated it was not created to assess teachers. That bears considering.

That the high school kids shrug it off means the teachers are getting dinged for that apathy and the kids are getting nothing out of it.

It is a gatekeeper for Advanced Learning programs and that keeps parents who want their children in those programs in line to take it.

I find it sad that we don't trust our teachers. We don't believe what they are saying despite their expertise and experience.

They have said this is NOT about assessments. Teachers know and agreed to be assessed. They negotiated it in their contract.

I appreciate that the Superintendent is trying to find solutions. Of course an edict doesn't help but he is the boss.

I think listening to teachers would be a good first step.
Melissa Westbrook
Seattle Schools Community Forum blog