Video: Chief Sealth teachers rally against MAP testing

The ongoing demonstrations of opposition to the Seattle Public Schools-utilized testing known as MAP (Measures of Acamdemic Progress) surged into a day of protest today, including this rally outside Chief Sealth International High School with about 20 MAP opponents. Roberta Lindeman spoke to us and the two TV stations who also showed up to cover the rally, explaining the teachers’ position:

The anti-MAP revolt began when Garfield High School teachers declared they would boycott it altogether; this week, Garfield administrators are reported to have been trying to get around that by administering the computer-dependent tests without teacher participation. District superintendent José Banda sent that school this message explaining why he told them to do that. Garfield and Ballard High Schools also were reported to be planning rallies today.

ADDED 11:04 PM: Another group of local teachers is expressing support for MAP boycotters – we received this letter sent to the superintendent on behalf of Pathfinder K-8 teachers:

Dear Superintendent Banda,

By unanimous agreement, Pathfinder K-8 teachers would like to express our full and unequivocal support for our colleagues across the district who have boycotted the MAP test. While it is true that there are certain uses for the MAP, and that some teachers find ways to make it useful, its costs far outweigh its benefits. We share the criticisms our colleagues have so thoughtfully conveyed to you. To provide one specific example, at Pathfinder students lose access to our computer lab for nearly 4 months of the school year. For many students, this is the only opportunity they have to use technology to support their learning. As educators, we must prioritize learning over testing and we sincerely hope that you share this philosophy.

We appreciate your decision to convene a taskforce on assessment. In the meantime, we ask that you respect the decision your teachers have made to waste no more precious instructional time on a test that does not serve the needs of our students. Your teachers want the very best for students and that includes meaningful assessment tools. You have the opportunity to demonstrate inspired leadership and to send a message that, as the AAUP-UW contended, teachers in your district are regarded as educated professionals fully qualified to advise the school district with regards to assessment of student learning. As Superintendent, you have the chance to restore integrity and compassion to our district. Perhaps most importantly, you have the ability to show you are listening, really listening, to the voices of teachers in Seattle and across the entire country.

Pathfinder K-8 teachers

26 Replies to "Video: Chief Sealth teachers rally against MAP testing"

  • B February 6, 2013 (7:10 pm)

    Keep up the good fight, teachers!

  • happy February 6, 2013 (8:32 pm)

    Teachers, I know the *real* reason you are choosing to do this: you care about students. You want them to learn. To grow. To succeed.

    Thank you, and please continue to fight!

  • Findlay February 6, 2013 (8:42 pm)

    I’m waiting for students to revolt and demand that they don’t need to take their finals!!

    I also see that they want to distance themselves from their students as they don’t trust that their performance truly measures their ability. If I was a student under these attitudes, I’d be looking for another school environment. This one appears broken.

  • TeacherGreg February 6, 2013 (9:02 pm)

    Well done! Keep up the fight, its going to be a long legislative season full of wacko ideas from so-called “reformers” and their well paid “consultants”. My favorites are the ones who live in expensive Seattle neighborhoods (or on the Eastside) yet send their kids to private schools.

  • G February 6, 2013 (9:56 pm)

    Frankly, I think neither side is being totally forthcoming or honest regarding the MAPS.

  • D-Mom February 6, 2013 (10:23 pm)

    Drop the standardized testing altogether! Find other ways to evaluate that are actually meaningful.

  • Seattlite February 6, 2013 (10:25 pm)

    Findlay — Right On!! The teachers’ union promotes mediocre or less performances from teachers which explains why so many kids can’t read, write, or do math at a 12th grade level when they graduate from high school. Very disturbing.

  • G February 6, 2013 (11:24 pm)

    Does anyone – parents ? – actually know the type of questions that are in the MAPS tests? We’re hearing a lot about it being a disservice to students from teachers, but little concrete information about the actual test itself.

  • SEA February 6, 2013 (11:27 pm)


    Do you actually have any kids in the district right now? I do, and I know a lot of teachers and people that work for the union, and they care more than someone like you can even guess about getting their students to read, write and do math.

    What an asinine comment.

  • kdsea February 7, 2013 (1:20 am)

    Google told me that you can view sample MAP questions here:

    I hate to say it but the questions appear relevant and fair to me.

  • TeachrerGreg February 7, 2013 (5:33 am)

    One of the key issues with the test has to do with the margin of error. The test can be off by as much as a full grade level, which makes it essentially useless as a diagnostic tool,a performance evaluation tool or anything else for that matter.

  • Leslie February 7, 2013 (6:07 am)

    The 34th LD Dems will be considering a resolution in support @ next Wed’s meeting.

  • w.s. maverick February 7, 2013 (8:28 am)

    very stupid thing to fight about. seems like everyone now a days wants everything given to them instead of having to earn it

  • Joseph February 7, 2013 (8:58 am)

    All these teachers not giving the test need to be fired!

  • w.s. maverick February 7, 2013 (9:18 am)

    well said joseph well said

  • DW February 7, 2013 (9:54 am)

    This is why Seattle school district is a joke

  • Brandon February 7, 2013 (11:38 am)

    Standardize testing does not teach students anything except how to pass the standardize test. Teachers waste time and resources to teach how to pass the test. That was my experience when i went to High school, although we took the WASL at the time. Teachers dont need to be fired they need to be made part of the conversation, also by firing teachers what would that help? Oh you can have new less qualified teachers, great. I’m not saying all teachers are qualified but if you fire the ones that are you get a situation like the replacement refs in the NFL and this time Seattle won’t come out on top.

  • Eric February 7, 2013 (11:43 am)

    I saw on the news one of the questions. It was a diagram with a picture of a pencil against a cm ruler. It asked approx. how many centimeters was the pencil. Is this really a question for high school? This is something that I think would/could/should be learned in elementary school.

    I had an experience some time back at Jiffy Lube. I explained to an employee who looked to be straight out of high school that he needed to leave the car door ajar, otherwise the car alarm would set. He looked at me with a blank face. Turns out he didn’t know what ajar meant. I really hope that is an anomaly and not the norm, but with questions such as what I described, I have to wonder if the new standard is to lower it?

    When I went back to college, I had to take a compass test. The school sent me a practice test of what kind of questions would be on it. My wife, who is originally from Japan, saw the math questions and started laughing. She told me that they learned those equations in elementary and middle school.

  • flynlo February 7, 2013 (11:47 am)

    As a long time taxpayer with no “dog in this fight”– I’m single and have no children, I find it interesting that this fight is going on while there is a ballot out to support the school district. My inclination has been to vote no on the school bond initiatives since I don’t particularly like the way that the district appears to be heading & this all around waste of money is doing nothing to change that opinion!

  • Dave February 7, 2013 (12:16 pm)

    Rally? Really with 20 people? I know it is so unfair that we would want to hold Teachers responsible for their performance. I guess the Teachers that would be worried about the job they are doing are out protesting this.

  • Dave February 7, 2013 (1:43 pm)

    Rally? Really with 20 people? I know it is so unfair that we would want to hold Teachers responsible for their performance. I guess the Teachers that would be worried about the job they are doing are out protesting this

  • w.s. maverick February 7, 2013 (3:53 pm)

    the test shows what the kids have learned and how smart they are. if you are smart,way to go. if not you may need some help. I love the tests, everyone now thinks everyone should get a gold star and a ribbon for doing nothing, welcome to your new weaker America

  • argonautter February 7, 2013 (10:32 pm)

    These tests are administered 3x each year to track student growth. I can see the value in an assessment at the beginning of the year to help teachers fill in gaps in student learning. However, I’m betting that the teachers in the classrooms with these students already have a pretty good idea of where the students are mid and end of year without “checking”. I’m with the teachers on this one. Life is not full of standardized tests. Dedicating that much time to tests and test training rather than to inspiring learning seems absurd!

  • Seattlite February 8, 2013 (12:08 pm)

    Who is evaluating the teachers’ performances? Is their union promoting more teacher evaluations to make sure their skills are high enough to teach kids who are behind? Why are so many kids graduating from high school with lower than 12th grade reading/writing/math skills?

  • Nick Esparza February 8, 2013 (1:00 pm)

    please continue to fight teachers!

  • Nick Esparza February 8, 2013 (1:14 pm)

    Vote NO on the operations Levy Seattle School District No. 1 Proposition No. 1
    The Seattle School District’s enrollment rate continues to grow; yet the school district has continually
    used and mismanages many of the funds provided to them. Countless dollars are not being spent on
    repairs; schools are taking a loss in funds by selling school at losses only to reopen them.

    In 2009 the school district was offered $9.7 million for the sales of Martin Luther King Elementary. When
    all was said and done they voted to sell it to a non-profit church for $2.3 million. This is lost money that
    could have provided much needed maintenance. Arbor Heights the oldest school in the district and the
    most in need of repairs is not even part of the money allotted in the levy. Now the school district is nearly
    $550 million in back repairs.

    This mismanagement of funds is not helping our students. We need improvement in our schools. Do you
    as a voter want to see your tax dollars go down the drain?

    Vote NO on the operations Levy

    Let us know what you think.

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