Seattle teachers' MAP boycott gains nationwide support

SEATTLE -- A protest against a test has now stretched from Seattle all the way to the East coast.

Hundreds of teachers nationwide say they stand with Garfield High School teachers who refuse to give their students the map test.

From Chief Sealth High to Garfield High, teachers and students rallied in support of Garfield teachers and their stand against the MAP test. Supporters also gathered across the country, from Portland to New York.

"We heard in Denton, Texas, they're rallying for Garfield and the MAP boycott," said Garfield High teacher Jesse Hagpopian.

When teachers refused to give the standardized test, Seattle Superintendent Banda directed administrators to do it.

"So our vice principal came, and it was like a walk of doom kind of thing," said Jovien Robinson, a freshman at Garfield High School.

The walk led to computers and the assessment test that covers math, science and language arts.

"All the questions seemed irrelevant, (I was thinking) like, 'Why am I taking this thing?"' said Robinson.

According to the president of the PTSA, three out of every four students have opted out of the test this week.

"Right now, we think it's a colossal waste of everyone's time and energy," said Garfield PTSA President Phil Sherburne.

The writers of the test say it is designed to measure both student achievement and calculate their growth. But parents here believe the money spent on the MAP should instead help kids who are struggling.

"Even the sponsors say it's really problematic to use at the high school level. It does have some value at the lower grades," Sherburne said.

Seattle Public Schools officials said they are determined to complete the testing in the next few weeks.

The district did assemble a task force to review standardized tests. The group's first meeting is scheduled to be held on Thursday.