After just a week of participating in the boycott of the MAP standardized test, teachers at Salmon Bay K–8 will resume testing on Monday. We haven't gotten a reason why yet, but Garfield teacher Jesse Hagopian, who hasn't heard from Salmon Bay, says that a lot of schools, including Salmon Bay, think they have levy funds tied to the MAP test and are worried about losing those funds if they boycott the test. He says his group is researching the relationship between funding and testing right now so they can reassure schools that might still want to participate. Orca K–8 is still participating in the boycott, as is Chief Sealth and possibly the Center School. (According to Hagopian, the Center School has already administered the test this winter, but teachers there are supportive of the boycott. We're following up.)
Hagopian says he has now heard directly from the district that it's willing to sit down and discuss the issue with teachers, but a date and time have yet to be set. The threat of a 10-day suspension without pay is still hanging over teachers' heads right now, although it would seem particularly difficult to suspend entire schools' worth of teachers—not least because the Seattle Substitute Association has also come out in support of the boycott.
I asked Hagopian what, exactly, teachers are proposing as an alternative. He says they would like the MAP test suspended for now, while they hash this out, especially since there's already a rigorous (some would say ridiculous) regimen of testing students undergo. Ninth and 10th graders, specifically, take five standardized tests a year aside from the MAP test. The MAP adds three more rounds of testing, bringing the total to eight.
Teachers' major problem with the MAP is that, unlike other tests students take (high schoolers take the High School Proficiency exam and the End of Course exams), the MAP isn't aligned to the state standards that teachers build their curriculum around. Ultimately, says Hagopian, some teachers would be okay with replacing MAP with a test that aligns with state standards. But many are hoping to work toward a very different form of assessment, something more like a portfolio of work with a strict grading rubric. Stay tuned.