Seattle teachers take to the streets over controversial test

SEATTLE -- Some local teachers claim millions of dollars has been wasted on a standardized test for students, and on Wednesday they marched to the school district headquarters to voice their concern.

Garfield High School teachers gathered support in their refusal to administer the MAP -- Measures of Academic Progress -- which is a standardized test that assesses student abilities.

The teachers argue that teaching works better than mapping, and dozens of them now refuse to give the test to their students.

Seattle Public Schools superintendent Jose Banda is now threatening those teachers with disciplinary action.

"Failure to follow through can be seen as insubordination," Banda said.

According to district policy, teachers have until Feb. 22 to give the test, and those who refuse could get a 10-day suspension.

"We're not going to administer the test," said Garfield history teacher Jessie Hagopian.

While some teachers are still refusing to offer the test, others are re-thinking their position because they don't want their students to have a substitute for 10 days.

"I think it's a threat and it goes against our school's anti bullying policy," said Garfield teacher Rachel Eells.

The teachers say the MAP test is a waste of time and money, but the district says it's a valid tool to see how well students are progressing.

The test's creators said sample questions might ask students to identify a sentence that uses the infinitive form of a verb or click on all the consumers in an ecosystem. The test is computerized, so if a student gets a question wrong, the test moves to an easier question.

"It's not perfect," Banda said. "I'd be the first one to say that."

The school board asked for a review of the test last fall and now the Banda is forming a task force to look it over.