Solidarity with Seattle Teachers and Students Refusing Pointless Standardized Tests!
As Classroom Struggle, we would like to send our deep respect and solidarity to the teachers, parents and students resisting standardized testing in Seattle. Teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, WA have courageously boycotted the MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) test, teachers at three other Seattle schools (The Center School, Chief Sealth International High School, and Orca K-8 School) have joined this boycott, and eight other area schools and organizations have signed solidarity statements.
The purpose of this solidarity statement is to: 1) provide ways to gain pertinent information and updates in order for education organizations, teachers, parents and students to be informed and show their support, 2) inspire the spread of these kinds of direct actions to send a strong warning to school district administrations that useless testing consuming valuable instruction/learning time will not be tolerated, 3) to show our support for the teachers, students and parents engaged in this struggle in Seattle.
“Our teachers have come together and agree that the MAP test is not good for our students, nor is it an appropriate or useful tool in measuring progress,” Kris McBride – Academic Dean and Testing Coordinator at Garfield High School.
The MAP test is administered two to three times a year to 9th graders. The test has no impact on student grades or class standing, and isn’t aligned with students’ learning expectations (state and district standards). However, the results of the test will be used by the district to evaluate teacher effectiveness.
“We really think our teachers are making the right decision,” Obadiah Stevens-Terry – student body president.
This struggle is also being waged by some students who are mobilizing to join the boycott by answering ‘C’ for Creativity not control on all questions of the MAP test. For more information on the boycott please visit creativitynotcontrol.wordpress.com. Creativity Not Control is a group of educators organizing to spread this boycott to schools in working class neighborhoods. They intend to pass out flyers on the boycott at two South End schools over the next two weeks.
We fully support the testing boycott at Garfield High and other Seattle schools.
In OUSD we also are forced to spend unnecessary time on standardized testing, often do not see our student’s learning accurately represented by these tests, see the funding of our schools connected to these tests and see curriculum shaped by these tests as opposed to the needs of our students.
These inaccurate, unfair and racist standardized tests are used as tools to evaluate the effectiveness of schools. The results are then used as excuses to shut down schools and cut programs. This reasoning has shifted the blame for the failure of public education onto individual teachers and students. Displacing the blame from the real culprits: the ruling class and federal government that have always underfunded education and increasingly implemented a program of higher standardization and further cuts.
In order to successfully fight to keep our schools open, with programs and resources that truly educate our students, we must take a solid stand against these tests that inaccurately measure education and provide fake justification for the cutbacks and closures that are attacking the foundation of public education in this country.
We encourage all teachers, students and parents to find ways to show support and solidarity to this struggle in Seattle.
- Share with co-workers the blog linked above as well as scrapthemap.wordpress.com to get updates and learn about more ways to support this heroic effort jumpstarted by the teachers at Garfield High School.
- Help educate your co-workers or school community about this struggle.
- Organize an event at your school that draws attention to the negative impact of standardized testing on our students and education system.
- Contact us at classroomstruggle.org to work together to challenge standardized testing in our district and nationwide.
- Comment on the blog (classroomstruggle.org) with stories of how standardized tests impact your teaching practice or school site in Oakland.
These testing boycotts are a must in the fight to halt the influx of standardized tests in public schools across the country. If you agree please contact us at classroomstruggle.org.