Seattle School Superintendent José Banda sent a message Monday to teachers, principals and other staff in response to Garfield High teachers’ boycott of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) exams. While a district review of all its tests is underway, Banda said, he still expects all teachers to give the exam, and asks they do so by February 22, when the testing window ends.
Still no word about what might happen to teachers who refuse.
In the past, the district has disciplined teachers who refused to give state exams, but that was under a different superintendent. So far, district administrators say they’ll handle each teacher who refuses on a case-by-base basis.
Here is Banda’s full statement:
Good morning principals, teachers and staff,
As you know, the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test is currently the subject of discussion at Garfield High School and other schools in the District. I want to use this discussion as an opportunity for us to come together and work toward a shared approach that best benefits our students.
The test provides assessment data that is useful for screening and analyzing student achievement to inform instruction and measure growth over time. I recognize there are concerns about MAP testing, but many educators in our district use MAP results, along with other data, in order to make informed instructional decisions during the year.
Before the issue was raised by our teachers at Garfield High School, the School Board had already asked for a thorough review of how we assess student learning, including MAP testing. During an annual report to the Board on Nov. 28, it was agreed that the District would review the effectiveness of MAP testing. We plan to report back to the Board this spring.
Starting in February, I will invite principals and teachers to be part of a formal process to review the MAP test and make recommendations for assessing student learning in Seattle Public Schools. This is the appropriate venue to share concerns and to have an in-depth discussion about the test. We will work together to find the best way to move forward.
In the meantime, MAP remains a required element of our overall student testing process. We expect school staff to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations to administer this test in a timely manner. Principals, I am asking for your leadership in ensuring the required MAP tests are completed by Feb. 22 in accordance with current district practice.
Thank you for your time and your continued work on behalf of our students.
Seattle Public Schools