Teacher at a Texas Rally

In a press conference that was held this morning at Garfield High School, it was announced that additional schools and the SEA Substitute Association have joined the teachers at Garfield High School in protest of the MAP test and in support of the teachers.

Teachers at Orca K-8 and the elementary section of Salmon Bay K-8 have joined the boycott and are refusing to give the MAP test. Other schools that have taken positions in support of the boycott are Franklin High School, Ballard High School, West Seattle High School, Center School, Sanislo Elementary School and Schmitz Elementary School. The Black Student Union at Garfield High School has also publicly stated support for the MAP test boycott.

Geraldine Carol, a teacher at the Center School in Seattle stated that the MAP test had already been administered but will not give the MAP test later this year during class time and teachers will not volunteer their time as they had previously to administer the test outside of class.

Eight teachers at Orca are boycotting the MAP test and 25 teachers have signed a letter of support. Fifty parents so far are opting their students out of the MAP test at Orca and there is a PTSA meeting being held this week to discuss further action.

Matt Carter, teacher at Orca K-8 stated, “Orca has committed to project based learning which takes a lot of time. When I think of the hours wasted on the MAP test rather than pursuing student-centered, hands-on curriculum, it makes me really sad, as the parent of two Seattle Public School children, I have opted my kids out of the MAP test.”

Pat Robertson, a representative of the Seattle Substitute Association (SSA) stated during the news conference that SSA also voted in favor of the MAP test boycott. Per a letter that was issued to the substitute teachers in Seattle:

“The Seattle Substitute Association urges all substitutes to refuse to participate in any way the administration of the MAP test at those schools where staff members have voted to boycott the test and that this motion be sent electronically to all SSA members for whom we have e-mail addresses.”

The West Seattle High School teachers wrote in a letter of support to Seattle Schools Superintendent Jose Banda:

“We appreciate the courageous efforts of our colleagues who have risked their jobs and their reputations in order to secure what they feel is the best use of instructional time and resources for their students…we feel that any test with as high a margin of error as the MAP should not be used to punitively evaluate teachers.”

Other prominent organizations and individuals that have expressed support for the Seattle MAP test boycott include the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the San Diego Education Association, Parents Across America, Garfield High School PTSA, the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and Seattle Equality Educators (SE). For the full list see above “Letters of support for Garfield teachers”.

As India Carlson, a science teacher at Ballard High School stated, “This movement is just beginning. We will be in this struggle until we win quality assessment for all of our students.”

Jesse Hagopian shared that when the teachers were told in a letter issued by Superintendent Banda that the administration had begun an evaluation process of the MAP test and the boycott was disrupting that process and that  the teachers should slow down and wait for a better evaluation system, he was reminded of what Dr. Martin Luther King stated in his book Why We Can’t Wait.

“For years now, I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

There will be a rally at the Stanford Center this Wednesday at 4:00 PM in support of the Seattle teachers.

Dora Taylor