Monday, January 21, 2013

Teachers’ test boycott draws growing support | Education | The Seattle Times

Teachers’ test boycott draws growing support | Education | The Seattle Times:


Teachers’ test boycott draws growing support

Support is growing for Garfield High teachers in their boycott of a district-required test. Seattle Public Schools officials, while saying the test has value, also are acknowledging that some of the teachers’ concerns have merit.
Seattle Times education reporter
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Eleven years ago, Rachel Eells saw value in the tests that she and other teachers at Seattle’s Garfield High School are now refusing to give their students.
Back then, she was a new middle-school teacher in the Highline School District, and the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) helped her identify the strengths and weaknesses of her students in reading.
But Eells grew disenchanted with the MAP, saying it was, at best, a rough diagnostic tool that often left her with more questions than answers, especially with her older students. She couldn’t tell why, for example, a student would do well on literary terms one time, then poorly the next.
So when a Garfield colleague asked Eells last month whether she would consider boycotting the MAP, she said yes so quickly the colleague paused, a little taken aback.
But Eells didn’t need time to weigh the pros and cons.
“I don’t want to spend my time or my students’ time 

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