Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Support grows for Garfield teachers boycotting MAP test
Change begins with challenging what is current
History teaches us that institutional changes begin with small actions, which are typically labeled disruptive by institutions. Teachers at Garfield High School are taking a small action — refusing to give students yet another poorly designed standardized test [“Teachers’ support growing in boycott of test at Garfield,” NW Tuesday, Jan. 22].
Of course the institution rebukes this action: “We expect school staff to fulfill their responsibilities…” [“Seattle superintendent urges all teachers to give MAP tests,” seattletimes.com, Jan. 14]. Over centuries of change, words like these have been said. Insert them into every historical moment that threatens the established order.
The Garfield teachers taking this small action are smart, experienced, thoughtful educators who have been entrusted to develop our young students into smart, thoughtful, imaginative, inventive people. No standardized test can measure the outcome of that charge.
The teachers are not saying “don’t bother us with evaluation, don’t measure the outcomes of our work.” In fact, the measures they prefer are true measures of their charge: Are the students able to critically think, to demonstrate their learning in meaningful ways?
I’ve taught for more than 25 years and I stand with the teachers at Garfield High School. I think anyone who hopes for the emergence of smart, thoughtful, imaginative and inventive young people from our institutions will stand with them as well, and support this small change.
--Melody Schneider, chairwoman of the High School Completion Department at Edmonds Community College, Seattle