A number of teachers from Garfield High School in Seattle Washington are refusing to give students a standardized test, also known as the Measures of Academy Progress or MAP. The boycott of the exam has been over-ridden by the superintendent of school, Jose Banda. Banda has ordered school administrators to proceed with the test as students have been pulled from class and sent to the library to complete the exams.
What’s wrong with the test? The Garfield High teachers take issue with a number of problems. Garfield teacher Jerry Neufeld-Kaiser asks in an e-mail to superintendent Banda, “how do you respond to the problem that the margin of error exceeds expected annual improvement?”
Academic dean and testing coordinator Kris McBride stated that, “Additionally, students don’t take it seriously. It produces specious results and wreaks havoc on limited school resources during the weeks and weeks the test is administered.”
In response to superintendent Jose Banda’s decision to go on with the testing Garfield High Schools PTSA president, Phil Sherburne, wrote an open letter in which he states that, “As parents, we want an air of normality at the school with the adults modeling to the students a rational deliberative process for resolving an important issue.
I have heard arguments in the past which object to standardized testing for a number of reasons, including a potential racial/economic bias. What do you make of the objection to the MAP exam because “students don’t take it seriously”? Is this a valid reason for not administering a test?
What about the notion that standardized test drain resources?
Lastly, does the superintendent have the authority to make the students take the exams, and if so, should he have in this case?
READ MORE HERE: