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Orca K-8 Teachers Join MAP Test Boycott


Teachers at Orca K-8 school in Seattle say they will boycott the same standardized test that Garfield High School teachers came out against last week.

Orca teacher Matt Carter says 11 teachers at the alternative school are refusing to give their students the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. "Almost everybody signed a letter of support for the Garfield staff, and most of the kindergarten through fifth-grade teachers also have pledged to refuse to give the MAP test," Carter said. Most of the sixth- through eighth-grade teachers wanted to boycott, too, Carter said, but teachers in those grades need MAP test results to qualify for a city math teaching grant.

Many teachers call the MAP test a waste of instructional time. The district requires most students to take the test up to three times a year in reading and math. District officials say the test is aligned with state and district curricula, but protesting teachers disagree.

Union representatives from public schools across Seattle voted almost unanimously Monday night to urge the district not to discipline any teachers who refuse to give the MAP test. The representatives also called for the district to stop giving the test.

In a letter to district employees Monday, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda said the MAP test is useful for measuring students' academic growth over time. But he said beginning next month, he'll invite teachers to take part in a formal review of the test's effectiveness. Banda said that will be the appropriate venue for teachers to share concerns, and to have an in-depth discussion about the test.

Year started with KUOW: 2008