Saying that the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) exams lead to inequity, the Seattle King County branch of the NAACP on Monday joined the organizations and individuals who are supporting the Seattle teachers who are boycotting those tests.
In a statement, the NAACP said it has talked to administrators, teachers and other education experts and concluded that the MAP questions don’t reflect what teachers are supposed to teach, meaning that students could do poorly on the MAP even if they do well in class.
The group also criticized the use of MAP scores to place students in advanced classes, and how much time the computerized exams tie up computer labs, limiting access to students who don’t have computers at home.
Over the weekend, staff members at Ballard High announced that 18 of them will join the MAP boycott, and more may follow. In all, more than 100 teachers and staff at four schools are participating in the boycott, and many others have written letters of support for protesting teachers, including 21 staff members at Graham Hill Elementary, who announced their stance on Sunday.
Seattle School Superintendent Jose Banda has not yet decided what to do if the protesting teachers don’t let their students take the exams by a deadline of Feb. 22, but district officials have told them they could face discipline.
MAP exams are computer-adaptive tests. Seattle Seattle Public Schools administrators require schools to give MAP reading and math exams two or three times a year to most students from kindergarten through grade 9.