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Originally published Friday, March 29, 2013 at 7:46 PM

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No discipline for Seattle teachers in boycott of MAP exams

Superintendent José Banda said none of the protesting teachers had responsibility for administering the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) exams, so they were not insubordinate by failing to carry out their duties.

Seattle Times education reporter

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No Seattle teachers will be disciplined for boycotting the exams known as the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) this winter.

Superintendent José Banda announced Friday that none of the protesting teachers had responsibility for administering the exams, so they were not insubordinate by failing to carry out their duties.

At many schools, Banda said, other school staff or parents — not teachers — are responsible for giving the MAP tests.

“What I found out ... is that it’s not the teachers that really do a lot of that stuff,” he said. “You have a testing coordinator that’s primarily responsible for setting up the test.”

It’s possible that none of the boycotting teachers failed in their duties because other staff members stepped in after the boycott was announced.

Still, Banda had told Garfield teachers they would face discipline for participating in the boycott, and some of those teachers taught students who were supposed to take MAP during the winter testing period, said Kris McBride, the school’s academic dean and testing coordinator.

Banda called any changes in a school’s testing protocol an “internal decision.”

Garfield teacher Jesse Hagopian said he was happy that Banda “decided to listen to parents, students and teachers, and not reprimand us.” But Hagopian added that he would like Banda to respond to each of the concerns Garfield teachers have raised about the MAP.

Seattle Public Schools started giving MAP exams about five years ago as a way to monitor student progress over time. Most students, up through ninth grade, take MAP reading and math exams two to three times a year. That’s in addition to the state-required tests that students also take each spring.

Nearly the entire staff at Garfield joined the MAP boycott, though some of the teachers, including Hagopian, do not teach language arts or math, and wouldn’t have been involved in giving the test. About 60 additional staff members at Orca K-8, Sealth High and Ballard High joined the boycott as well.

McBride said Garfield teachers soon will announce whether they will continue the boycott during spring testing, scheduled to start April 22.

Banda says he hopes they don’t. Their concerns, he said, have been heard “loud and clear.”

A district-appointed task force of teachers, principals, parents and other community members has been meeting to evaluate the MAP tests.

In the meantime, the district has relaxed some of the requirements for spring testing. Not all ninth-graders will have to take the MAP reading exams, only those who are below grade level.

The district also is recommending that high schools give the MAP algebra exam, not the more-general math test given in the past.

Linda Shaw: 206-464-2359 or On Twitter @LShawST

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