Google Find us on Google+

Seattle school superintendent surrenders to union in battle over student skills test

May 16, 2013 by

SEATTLE – The nation’s teacher unions are taking a victory lap after Seattle’s school superintendent agreed to stop requiring that high school students take a computer-based skills test that union leaders say has no value.

In January, a group of Seattle teachers, students and parents staged a boycott against the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test, “saying it was not aligned with the state’s curriculum and produces ‘meaningless results’ upon which teachers’ performances are evaluated,” reports Reuters.

In reality, the tests were not linked to teachers’ evaluations, and they only helped gauge whether students need additional help with math or reading.

But the union propaganda was successful in turning a local controversy into a national protest movement against standardized tests. Various teacher unions and left-wing luminaries from around the nation signed a petition in support of the Seattle activists.

Even though MAP is not a standardized test, the public outcry against it was apparently too much for Seattle Superintendent Jose Banda. Earlier this week, Banda announced that the city’s high schools will no longer be required to use MAP, beginning next fall.

That’s a significant change of direction for Banda, who several months ago threatened to suspend any teacher who refused to give the tests to students.

A district spokeswoman explained that if high schools opt out of MAP, they will still have to find another way of assessing and monitoring students’ academic progress. Seattle’s elementary and middle schools will still be required to use the test, reports The Seattle Times.

Even with those caveats, union leaders were delighted with the news.

“This is a very big step for creating some sanity in testing as opposed to this endless test fixation that has taken over America,” gushed American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

Why such excitement over such a small victory?

Union leaders and leftists see any blow against standardized testing as a good thing.

The unions dislike standardized testing because it quantifies a teacher’s performance, and may eventually lead to underachievers being removed from the classroom. That doesn’t fit the Big Labor view that educators are just interchangeable assembly-line workers, all equally capable of getting the job done.

Leftists hate standardized testing because it prevents activist teachers from straying from the official curriculum and using limited class time to indoctrinate students with their social justice agenda.

That’s why they’re eager to treat Banda’s decision as a major victory that will add momentum to their cause.

The unions and the leftists succeeded in taking an inch in Seattle. It won’t be long before they succeed in taking a mile somewhere else.

via Seattle school superintendent surrenders to union in battle over student skills test – :: Education Research, Reporting, Analysis and Commentary.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Posts


Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.