Seattle high school teachers refuse to give standardized test


by David Safier

This is kind of a big deal. At Seattle's Garfield High, teachers are refusing to take their students to the computer lab to participate in the online MAP (Measures of Academic Progress), which students are supposed to take two or three times a year. The reason it's only kind of a big deal is that MAP is used at the district level, so the teachers aren't going up against the state.

One reason the teachers object to the test is that its margin of error is larger than the gains expected of students (a fact that well exceeds the margin of error on the self-satire scale). Other reasons are the fact that the computer lab can't be accessed for classwork for two weeks while it's being used for testing, and students, because they have no personal stake in the test results, don't take it seriously enough for the results to be a reflection of their levels of achievement.

It's a small rebellion, but it's good to see teachers standing up against the constant drumbeat of standardized testing. The fact that the school's teachers are taking this stand together, including teachers who don't teach in fields that are tested, makes it hard for the District to single teachers out for punishment or reprimands. Solidarity is a powerful tool.


  1. How can I possibly offer a serious response to any comment that begins with “Gee wilikers” — and misspells it, no less? Two L’s in “willikers,” Thane (though I find both “wilikers” and “whillikers” are occasionally used variants, so I’ll let it slide this one time).