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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 17, 2013 at 7:28 AM

MAP exams

Standardized tests waste time

Having matriculated through Seattle schools, I am all too familiar with the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test [“Seattle high schools can drop MAP exams,” NWTuesday, May 14]. I am thrilled that schools will not have to take as much time for these MAP exams.

As a student with a learning disability, testing always reflected my struggle with reading and math. However, in classes I maintained high marks. I am now graduating from Seattle University having done internships and leadership positions. Sadly, other students who had to undergo standardized testing have not progressed as well.

My main concern with MAP tests and other standardized tests used to help teachers target students who need help is this: Telling teachers that certain students are struggling while others are above average will affect how teachers treat those students. Based on Robert Rosenthal’s experiments, students who are predicted to be above average will end up that way even if those students are chosen at random.

Educators are not to be blamed for — but schools should be aware of — the deeper, unintentional consequences of giving MAP tests and other standardized tests. Teachers who are paying attention to their students can identify the students who need extra help. I urge others to support teachers and educators who see that time can be better spent.

Ella Czeisler, strategic communications major, Seattle University, Seattle

Comments | More in Education | Topics: education, MAP test, Measures of Academic Progress

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