Garfield High teachers refuse to give standardized test

SEATTLE -- A group of teachers at Garfield High School have refused to administer a district-mandated standardized test they believe is flawed.

The teachers say the test -- which they call they call it a waste of time, money and resources -- cost the district $4 million.

The Measures of Academic Progress Test, or MAP, is used to measure student and teacher progress, and is given three times a year.

Seattle Public Schools began using the test several years ago under the direction of the late former superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson, and district officials say the results help improve accountability and academic decision-making.

But Garfield teachers took a vote and say they stand United -- not against measuring progress, but against the test they say is flawed.

"I'm happy to have anyone come in and look at my work," said teacher Kit McCormick, who did not give the test to her students as scheduled on Wednesday. "It's just that I don't think they should be tested by this test."

Garfield teachers give several reasons for their position, including a state audit that found Goodloe-Johnson did not comply with district ethics policy. When the MAP test was added, Goodloe-Johnson was on the board of the vendor that sold it to the district.

"They adopted it for $4 million. Why would they adopt a test they haven't vetted, they haven't made sure is aligned to our curriculum? I think there's a clear conflict of interest," said teacher Jesse Hagopian.

Seattle Public Schools, now under the direction of superintendent Jose Banda, issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying it expects all teachers to administer all required tests.

Asked whether the teachers will be disciplined for failing to follow policy, the district said it will decide on a case-by-case basis.
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