The Testing Fight in Seattle

16 Jan

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There is something going on in Seattle that may be spreading and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  There is a lot of overtesting going on nationwide and it’s only getting worse.  At my school the library, computer labs, and art room are all shut down for over two weeks of NWEA testing right now. 

Scrap the MAP!  Seattle Teachers Refuse to Administer a Punitive Standardized Test

“The test has fallen under widespread and persistent criticism by teachers across the district who say the MAP isn’t aligned with state standards they are expected to teach to. The MAP test also doesn’t affect student grades or chances of graduation, which means students don’t take the test seriously. This is particularly irksome to teachers because the MAP is used to calculate “student growth”–as a part of evaluating the effectiveness of the teachers who give the test.”

Back in the Classroom, Testing is as Bad as I Thought — and Worse

“How much time are we talking about? Well, it takes about three and a half weeks to administer the test to all the students in our school who are required to take it. Multiply that by three (remember, the MAP is given three times per year) and here’s the result: the computer lab is converted into a de facto testing facility for over 10 weeks — an entire quarter of the school year.”

At Chicago Charters, Secret Sauce Now Available “To Go”

“Now, merely encouraging non-test-score-boosting students with poor posture and sagging pants to leave does not a secret sauce make. The Noble schools have some other ingredients up their uniform sleeves too, like their innovative approach to parent engagement. Earlier this month, Noble made headlines with the news that the charter chain charges low-income parents for their children’s disciplinary infractions—like untied shoes, unbuttoned polo shirts and failure to keep their eyes on the teacher.”

East Chicago Teachers Union Posts Billboard Slamming Superintendent

“The East Chicago Federation of Teachers, Local AFT 511, posted a billboard prominently Monday at the corner of Indianapolis Boulevard and Columbus Drive saying they don’t support the school superintendent.”

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4 Responses to “The Testing Fight in Seattle”

  1. DZV January 17, 2013 at 1:17 am #

    Ah yes, I wish we too, could have that “secret sauce” in our neighborhood schools:
    Did I read that correctly? If the student leaves, he gets to take those credits to another school, but if he stays, he has to repeat those classes?
    Well, we all know about the disciplinary fines. The senior population has few because all those children have left. We get them each quarter at our neighborhood school, the kids who couldn’t/wouldn’t pay. We get the problem children because the charters don’t want them and then we’re the “bad teachers” doing our best with what we have. It must be nice to pick and chose who you want to teach.
    Why can’t we fine students? That would level the playing field so to speak. Comparing charters to neighborhood schools is like comparing apples to oranges. Those of us who live it and work it know. It’s unfortunate that Clark Street and the Mayor have no clue.

    • cps299 January 17, 2013 at 2:35 am #

      I sometimes wonder how much is cluelessness and how much is just not caring.

  2. DZV January 17, 2013 at 1:55 am #

    “Scrap the MAP”
    I work at various CPS schools and the protocol for MAP testing varies unbelievably. How that can be “value-added” to any teacher’s evaluation is beyond me.
    Students are tested in large groups in a lab, not by their teachers, but by auxiliary staff at one school (no one is sure who their assigned to, since the tech person runs MAP). No accomodations are made for special education students at another school until spring. At a third, students are tested in very small groups with their homeroom teachers over many days. At a fourth school, the students are given parties if their MAP scores go up in the winter and spring. This fall, students were heard telling each other to purposely flub the test so they can go to the party in the winter.
    I’ve seen teachers spend way too much time taken from actual learning going over RIT scores, ranges, goals, and all that other mumbo jumbo with students before, during, and after MAP testing.
    Older students already have the test figured out: as soon as it gets hard, they purposely start making mistakes because they know the test will adjust and start making the questions easier.
    Let’s not even go near CPS bandwith: it stinks! When too many students test at one time, it freezes, crashes, and locks you out. God forbid someone in the building has something important to do besides take the MAP, then we’re all toast!

    But that’s CPS’s philosophy: we’ll mandate, dictate, and come up with ideas that we can’t implement correctly. We’ll make you do what we say without the resources you need to do your job!
    How any of these tests can be considered valid for teacher evaluation is a joke, but CPS will RAHM, I mean RAM it down your throat no matter what.

    • cps299 January 17, 2013 at 2:36 am #

      These tests are just so destructive in so many ways.

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