Saturday, 31 January 2015 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Garfield High School Teachers Refuse to Reduce Students to Test Scores

Monday, 14 January 2013 13:40 By Jesse Hagopian, SpeakOut | Report

Teachers at Seattle’s Garfield High School, announced on January 10, 2013, they would no longer be willing to proctor the flawed and expensive “Measures of Academic Progress” standardized tests the school district requires at every grade level, starting in kindergarten. The computer-administered test, given three times per year to students at every grade level in Seattle, provides a summary score on student performance in reading and math. The Seattle Schools purchases the tests from a company (NWEA), despite an ethics ruling that the purchase was a conflict of interest for the former superintendent. Further, the tests are not aligned with curriculum in Seattle schools.

Thousands of people from around the country have signed on to a petition supporting the Garfield teachers.
The school’s PTSA and student body organization have stood behind the teachers. Other schools in the district are starting to line up behind Garfield, too, starting with Ballard High.

Interest in the boycott has been strong, with news reports from the Reuters News service, Washington Post, The Seattle Times, KOMO TV, KIRO TV, and the local FOX affiliate.

Garfield High has about 1700 students with a diverse student population (42% White, 27% Black , 24% Asian). The school was established as a math and science magnet school in the 1970s for purposes of racial desegregation through voluntary busing. The school is a musical powerhouse - a jazz band that four times has won the Essentially Ellington National Jazz Band Competition at Lincoln Center, and where legendary artists were students, including Ernestine Anderson, Jimi Hendrix, and Quincy Jones. Martin Luther King chose to speak at Garfield when he made his only visit to Seattle in 1961 and the swimming pool is named after Medgar Evers. It’s a school with a history and a lot of soul.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Jesse Hagopian

Jesse Hagopian is an associate editor for Rethinking Schools magazine. Jesse teaches history and is the Black Student Union adviser at Garfield High School, the site of the historic boycott of the MAP standardized test.  He is the editor and contributing author to More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing (Haymarket Books, 2014) and recipient of the 2013 “Secondary School Teacher of the Year” award from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. A survivor of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Jesse is an advocate for Haitian human rights. Follow Jesse on his blog at www.iamaneducator.com or on Twitter: @jessedhagopian


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Garfield High School Teachers Refuse to Reduce Students to Test Scores

Monday, 14 January 2013 13:40 By Jesse Hagopian, SpeakOut | Report

Teachers at Seattle’s Garfield High School, announced on January 10, 2013, they would no longer be willing to proctor the flawed and expensive “Measures of Academic Progress” standardized tests the school district requires at every grade level, starting in kindergarten. The computer-administered test, given three times per year to students at every grade level in Seattle, provides a summary score on student performance in reading and math. The Seattle Schools purchases the tests from a company (NWEA), despite an ethics ruling that the purchase was a conflict of interest for the former superintendent. Further, the tests are not aligned with curriculum in Seattle schools.

Thousands of people from around the country have signed on to a petition supporting the Garfield teachers.
The school’s PTSA and student body organization have stood behind the teachers. Other schools in the district are starting to line up behind Garfield, too, starting with Ballard High.

Interest in the boycott has been strong, with news reports from the Reuters News service, Washington Post, The Seattle Times, KOMO TV, KIRO TV, and the local FOX affiliate.

Garfield High has about 1700 students with a diverse student population (42% White, 27% Black , 24% Asian). The school was established as a math and science magnet school in the 1970s for purposes of racial desegregation through voluntary busing. The school is a musical powerhouse - a jazz band that four times has won the Essentially Ellington National Jazz Band Competition at Lincoln Center, and where legendary artists were students, including Ernestine Anderson, Jimi Hendrix, and Quincy Jones. Martin Luther King chose to speak at Garfield when he made his only visit to Seattle in 1961 and the swimming pool is named after Medgar Evers. It’s a school with a history and a lot of soul.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Jesse Hagopian

Jesse Hagopian is an associate editor for Rethinking Schools magazine. Jesse teaches history and is the Black Student Union adviser at Garfield High School, the site of the historic boycott of the MAP standardized test.  He is the editor and contributing author to More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing (Haymarket Books, 2014) and recipient of the 2013 “Secondary School Teacher of the Year” award from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. A survivor of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Jesse is an advocate for Haitian human rights. Follow Jesse on his blog at www.iamaneducator.com or on Twitter: @jessedhagopian


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