Seattle school leaders have decided to relax a few requirements for the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) this spring, the exams that are the focus of a teacher boycott that has received national attention.
Ninth-graders who have passed the state’s reading exam will not have to take the MAP reading test, too, officials announced at a meeting Thursday.
Officials also are recommending that high schools use the MAP’s algebra test for students enrolled in algebra classes, rather than a more general math test that’s been required in the past.
The district’s senior staff made the adjustments even as a task force made up of teachers, principals, parents and community members weighs whether the district should even continue to give the MAP next year. The task force has been asked to give its recommendations by the beginning of May.
In general, most students from kindergarten through 9th grade have been taking the MAP reading and math exams at least twice a year.
Clover Codd, executive director of strategic planning and partnerships, said district leaders will wait for the task force’s recommendations before making any additional changes to MAP testing requirements. But they decided to make the two high-school adjustments before spring testing is scheduled to start in late April.
The MAP boycott started in January at Garfield High, where nearly the entire teaching staff said the exam wasn’t worth the time, energy and money spent giving it.
Some teachers from a handful of other schools joined the effort, and many others wrote letters of support. Superintendent Jose Banda has said that teachers who refused to administer the MAP during the winter testing period will face some kind of discipline for their protest, although he has not yet announced what that will be.