They’re for education, against the test

They’re for education, against the test

TCPalm.com (Stuart, Florida)
March 4, 2013

By John Young, [email protected]

Jesse Hagopian is doing more than teaching history. He is answering
history’s call.

With Hagopian in the lead, most of the teachers at Seattle’s Garfield
High School have made recent history’s most important statement about
what drags down public education in 2013.

They have refused to give the test.

In this case it is MAP, the Measure of Academic Progress. The teachers
say it is time-consuming, costly and serves no true diagnostic
purpose.

Since Garfield teachers declared their boycott weeks ago, other
Seattle teachers have joined the protest. The school district has
threatened them with their jobs. Tellingly, however, it also has said
it might re-examine the test.

For all who value public education, let these teachers win their
battle.

As one who was educated in public schools, and whose children were as
well, I cannot express sufficiently my impression that those who are
most gung-ho about testing are least interested in true quality public
schools.

To the contrary, they are most interested in assailing those schools
based on false comparisons, then promoting schemes like school
vouchers and for-profit charters.

The test in question in Seattle is developed by the Northwest
Evaluation Association. It uses interactive computer software to
supposedly demonstrate student readiness. Seattle teachers don’t get
to see the results, but they are evaluated, in part, based on them.

Administered in addition to Washington’s mandated state test, MAP is
different from many state tests because it is low-stakes, at least for
the students. Their grades are not affected by the results, and they
often give halfhearted efforts, though teaching careers may hang on
them.

Beyond that matter, what is affected, say the teachers, is the
`astounding’ amount of instructional time lost – five hours per school
year for each student.

Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers did readers a service by focusing on
the time and cost of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test – FCAT.

It reported on how school districts spend untold time and thousands of
dollars on benchmark tests, called `testing of the test’ – students as
guinea pigs to see if the state’s demands are or can be met by
overtaxed teachers. On top of $62 million spent by Florida are
unfunded demands school districts assume to administer FCAT.

Dollars and instructional times lost: None dare call it waste.

The sad thing is that so many citizens salute this toilet-paper banner
under the guise of `achievement’ and `excellence.’ The fact is that no
standardized test meant for everyone of every imaginable learning
level can deliver on such pretenses. Is that so hard to understand?

The teachers of Garfield High understand. They understand that what
they are trying hard to achieve – true education – is being filleted
with a long sword on the altar of standardization.

So, horrors, instead of playing along, they have said, `We will remain
at our posts and teach.’ What say, America? Off with their heads?

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS