DALLAS (February 11, 2013) As United States students continue to lag behind their contemporaries in classrooms around the world, both President Obama and former President George W. Bush have rallied around legislation that calls for an increase in national and mandatory standardized testing. However, many are beginning to debate whether these tests actually improve learning and many are also beginning to ask the question, “how much testing is too much.”
In Seattle, Garfield High School, voted one of the best public schools for academics by U.S. News and World Report, has suddenly become the center of a war on standardized testing by refusing to administer the MAP test (Measure of Academic Progress). This test is given in schools across the country to millions of students every year. It has become one of the most popular standardized tests for measuring academic achievement. But, now the faculty, parents and students of Garfield High have banded together, saying that MAP test is doing more harm than good.
“The MAP test is a deeply flawed exam,” explains Jesse Hagopian, a former Garfield student who now teaches at his alma mater. “Because number one, it’s not aligned to our curriculum. Teachers in ninth grade algebra tell me that they see questions on the test relating to geometry, which would be like if a French teacher is giving a test and there’s Spanish questions on it.”
But, it’s not just the flawed test elements that have Hagopian and other teachers angry. They are concerned over the fact that their performance assessments – and their salaries – are tied to how students perform on the test, an approach that they believe does not recognize or reward good teaching.
Tune in tomorrow night for an in depth look at how the MAP test boycott at one Seattle school has spread to several schools across the city, and what caused leading educators in Washington, D.C., the National Education Association, as well as the nation’s largest teacher’s union to jump on the bandwagon. “Dan Rather Reports: Teaching To The Test” airs Tuesday, February 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT only on AXS TV.
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