More teachers refuse to give MAP standardized test

By Kate Burgess

Q13 FOX News reporter

SEATTLE -- There's a fight over testing in Seattle Public Schools.

Teachers at Seattle’s Garfield High School announced Thursday that they will refuse to administer a standardized test that students in other high schools across the district take in January. Now, some teachers at Ballard High School and teachers at the Orca K-through-8 school are joining Garfield High School educators in refusing to administer the Measure of Academic Progress, or MAP, standardized test, given to evaluate student progress and skill in reading and math.

Jonathan Knapp, the president of the Seattle Educators Association, said educators have good reason to refuse giving the test. The test wastes time and money, he said.

"The kids don't take it seriously," Knapp said. "They don't find that it aligns with their curriculum, they don't think it aligns with state standards, it uses a tremendous amount of resources in the district."

Max Davis, a Ballard High School sophomore called the test little more than "practice" for other standardized tests.

"It's pretty much just practice," Davis said. "And it shows how well you can do testing-wise."

But Seattle Public Schools administrators disagree that the test is a waste of time. In a letter to all district staff, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda supported the goals of MAP testing. And until further notice, all schools and teachers are required to give the test as planned.

"The test provides assessment data that is useful for screening and analyzing student achievement to inform instruction and measure growth over time," Banda said.

Some students agreed with Banda and preferred the test to other standardized tests they have taken. William Steenstra, a Ballard High School sophomore liked that the test gets harder as students progress.

"I like how it gets progressively harder and it builds a test for your level," Steenstra said.

Banda said the district will evaluate the usefullness of the MAP test later this year. Until then, teachers will be required to give the test.