[Picture Source: Seattle Education]
It’s time to take a STAND against Standardized Testing
The “Rethinking Schools Blog” has released an article about standardized testing and how it is hurting education, rather than helping. The article explains how these “high risk” tests cost money and time and how they take away from quality teaching. Stated a such, “The pressure to prepare students for standardized exams forces teachers to narrow instruction to only that material which will be tested.” Moreover, these test are not a TRUE indicator of students’ learning and certainly not a means to evaluate teachers’ performance, as research has suggested. (See here)
Thus, many educators are taking a stand against the overuse and misuse of standardized tests! In Seattle, the staff at Garfield High School refused to administer the district’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. The staff was warned by their superintendent that they will lose wages for their stand. However, they have the support of both the AFT and the NEA.We must stand up and support them!
The staff of Garfield High made this statement against standardized testing, more specifically in this case, the MAP test (This is only part of it):
“Educators across the country know what’s best for their students, and it’s no different for our members in Seattle. We know that having well-designed assessment tools can help students evaluate their own strengths and needs, and help teachers improve. This type of assessment isn’t done in one day or three times a year. It’s done daily, and educators need the flexibility to collaborate with their colleagues and the time to evaluate on-going data to make informed decisions about what’s best for students.”
“If we want a system that is designed to help all students, we must allow educators, parents, students and communities to be a part of the process and have a stronger voice in this conversation as they demand high-quality assessments that support student learning. Off-the-shelf assessments that are not aligned with the curriculum or goals of the school are not the answer.”
Take a stand with them! Copy and paste this letter below, then add your signature to this statement with an email with your name and affiliation(s) to: GHSstatement@gmail.com.
We Support the Teachers of Garfield High School and stand united to say that “High-Stakes Standardized Tests are Overused and Overrated!”
For these main reasons:
• The Use of Standardized Tests is Spreading
• Tests Consume a Great Deal of Time and Money
• Testing Hurts Students
• Research does not Support Using Tests to Evaluate Teachers
Therefore, EDUCATORS ARE TAKING A STAND FOR AUTHENTIC TEACHING AND LEARNING!
In a nearly unanimous vote, the staff at Garfield High school in Seattle decided to refuse to administer the district’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. This test, which research has shown to have no significant impact on reading scores, has only one purpose within Seattle Public Schools — evaluating the teachers, even though the test’s developers (the Northwest Evaluation Association) have noted the inappropriateness of using tests for such evaluations. In taking this action, the educators at Garfield High School have struck a blow against the overuse and misuse of standardized tests, and deserve support. We, the undersigned, stand with these brave teachers and against the growing standardized testing industrial complex.
[Picture Source: Big Education Ape]