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Seattle Superintendent orders principals to force teachers to give MAP test

The Superintendent of Seattle's public schools,Jose Banda, ignoring the fact that even the U.S.Department of Education has criticized the expensive MAP test, has ordered principals to force their staffs to administer the MAP tests as if nothing has happened to shake the world of high stakes testing. Below is the message that was sent to Seattle school principals and circulated across the city. Those who wish to contact Seattle Schools administrators directly can contact: Anita DeMahy, 206.252.0040, andemahy@seattleschools.org. Substance will gladly publish the replies and all exchanges.

Garfield High School in Seattle.SUPERINTENDENT'S MESSAGE TO SEATTLE PRINCIPALS AND TEACHERS:

Good morning principals, teachers and staff,

As you know, the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test is currently the subject of discussion at Garfield High School and other schools in the District. I want to use this discussion as an opportunity for us to come together and work toward a shared approach that best benefits our students.

The test provides assessment data that is useful for screening and analyzing student achievement to inform instruction and measure growth over time. I recognize there are concerns about MAP testing, but many educators in our district use MAP results, along with other data, in order to make informed instructional decisions during the year.

Before the issue was raised by our teachers at Garfield High School, the School Board had already asked for a thorough review of our how we assess student learning, including MAP testing. During an annual report to the Board on Nov. 28, it was agreed that the District would review the effectiveness of MAP testing. We plan to report back to the Board this spring.

Seattle Schools Supt. José Banda has ordered that the MAP be administered in the face of the opposition of teachers and growing national support for the movement. Starting in February, I will invite principals and teachers to be part of a formal process to review the MAP test and make recommendations for assessing student learning in Seattle Public Schools. This is the appropriate venue to share concerns and to have an in-depth discussion about the test. We will work together to find the best way to move forward.

In the meantime, MAP remains a required element of our overall student testing process. We expect school staff to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations to administer this test in a timely manner . Principals, I am asking for your leadership in ensuring the required MAP tests are completed by Feb. 22 in accordance with current district practice.

Thank you for your time and your continued work on behalf of our students. Sincerely, José Banda Superintendent, Seattle Public Schools

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