January 14, 2013 at 4:49 PM
ORCA K-8 teachers join boycott of district-required exams
Eleven teachers and instructional assistants at ORCA K-8 have decided that they, too, will boycott district-required tests known as the MAP, according to ORCA teacher Matt Carter.
The Orca staffers join the staff at Garfield High, where all teachers who were scheduled to administer the Measures of Academic Progress exams are refusing, with the backing of nearly all their colleagues, who signed a letter supporting them. In the letter to district administrators, the Garfield staff members listed nine reasons why they oppose the test, which range from how few students take it seriously to how much time it takes away from class instruction and whether it measures what teachers are supposed to be teaching.
The middle school teachers at ORCA will not refuse to give the tests because they hope to get a grant from the city that requires that they give them, Carter said. But 11 of the 16 teachers and instructional assistants in kindergarten through grade 5 have decided to do so, Carter said. ORCA is an alternative school in the Rainier Valley.
If ORCA parents want their children to take the MAP exams anyway, the principal has told them that she will find other people to proctor the test, Carter said.
About 50 teachers at Ballard High also have signed a letter supporting the Garfield staff, although none have yet refused to give the exams, which are given two-three times a year, and cover mostly reading and math.
The representative assembly of the Seattle Education Association is scheduled to discuss the issue at a meeting Monday evening, and consider a motion that calls for the union to support any teacher who refuses to give the MAP. The motion also asks the district not to discipline teachers who refuse to give the exams, and asks that the district stop using the MAP tests as soon as possible.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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