On Friday, Seattle Schools superintendent José Banda released a letter regarding the standardized-test boycott that happened this winter. Saying that "our community has engaged in a deep discussion during the last two months" about the controversial MAP test, he goes on to act like everything went just fine in the end:
I am pleased to report that every school administered the MAP assessment and met the testing deadline.
There will be no discipline of any test administrator. Those teachers who publically [sic] said they refused to administer the test either did not teach a tested subject, or they were not a test administrator.
Jesse Hagopian, a history teacher who became de facto spokesman for Garfield High School teachers when they boycotted the MAP test en masse, is completely bewildered by the letter, though he's relieved that they won't be disciplined by their district. "It's so crazy that I don't even understand how to respond to it," he tells me, "but we're happy with the end result."
The idea that no one who said they were boycotting was actually a "test administrator" is a fascinating and weird workaround for the district. "It depends on how he defines [test administrator]," says Hagopian. Since the district forced school administration to pull students out of class and give the test when the teachers who were supposed to do it refused, "I guess he can just decree that the test administrator at Garfield became the administration," and thus, those newly deputized test administrators did give the test. But in reality, "the test administrator at Garfield is Kris McBride," Hagopian says, "and she's been the most outspoken boycotter of all. This makes very little sense."
Meanwhile, the district has announced a slight relaxation of the MAP policies for the spring round of testing, which starts April 22. Teachers say they're not backing down on their boycott for spring. So it looks like everyone's strapping in for another battle to start in the next few weeks—and since the testing window goes till June 7, it could last basically untill the end of the school year.