"According to Monty Neill, executive director of FairTest, an organization devoted to stopping the misuse of standardized tests, the boycott is the first such school-wide effort in the country in a decade."
Teachers refuse to give standardized test at Seattle high school
Posted by Valerie Strauss on January 11, 2013 at 10:28 am
This appears to be a first: Nearly all of the teachers at a Seattle high school have decided to refuse to give mandated standardized district tests called the Measures of Academy Progress because, they say, the exams don’t evaluate learning and are a waste of time.
Almost all of the teachers and staff at Garfield High signed a letter explaining that they oppose the MAP because it is a flawed test that students don’t take seriously and that is being used by administrators to evaluate teachers, a purpose for which it was not designed.
Individual teachers have in the past refused to administer standardized tests; in Seattle, three have been disciplined in recent years for doing so, the Times said. But this action appears to be the first time that virtually all of the teachers at a school have agreed to boycott a mandated standardized test, according to people who follow the issue.
The decision is part of a growing grass-roots revolt against the excessive use of standardized tests to evaluate students, teachers, schools, districts and states. The high-stakes testing era began a decade under No Child Left Behind, and critics say that the exams are being inappropriately used and don’t measure a big part of what students learn.
Parents have started to opt out of having their children take the exams; school boards have approved resolutions calling for an end to test-based accountability systems; thousands of people have signed a national resolution protesting high-stakes tests; superintendents have spoken out, and so have teachers. It has been building momentum in the last year, since Robert Scott, then the commissioner of education in Texas, said publicly that the mentality that standardized testing is the “end-all, be-all” is a “perversion” of what a quality education should be.
The Seattle Times reported that district administrators released a statement defending the test, saying that it does help them evaluate student achievement but that the MAP, along with all tests that students take, are under review.
Read the rest here.