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January 30, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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Local parent: I support MAP tests

Some children do not have support

Congratulations for having children who have fun, feel pride, are comfortable taking the Measures of Academic Protest test [“This parent supports the MAP tests,” Opinion, Jan. 29]. I am sure that this has a lot to do with your involvement in their learning.

Now let’s take a look at the rest of the students who do not have as much parent involvement, who are struggling academically and don’t care about scores — they only care about being able to grab something to eat, and be somewhere they can feel safe.

As a former teacher taking time out of my classroom to walk my students to a usually out-of-date computer lab that lacks working headphones, comfortable chairs and a comfortable, quiet environment for test-taking, the time taken to do the MAP is usually the time that I would meet with students individually to talk with them about their feelings, concerns, and check in on their progress.

I would usually get more information listening to them about their feelings (positive and negative) about school, just as you did when you had your conversation with your children. A majority of my students never had opportunity to be asked to share their feelings.

The teachers who are questioning the MAP tests do not see it as a useful assessment measure for their students and believe there may be a better way. There is nothing wrong when other parents and educators supported some of our views, but our political views always stayed outside our classroom. Words like “political squabbling” and “boycotting” should not be part of the vocabulary in discussing if MAP is the right assessment tool.

--Gilberto Hedges-Blanquez, Seattle

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