Four months after staging a boycott against their own school district’s testing regime, Seattle high school teachers and their student and parent supporters have won a huge victory. On Monday Seattle Superintendent Jose Banda announced that come the next school year, the controversial Measures of Academic Progress test will no longer be a required high school assessment, the Seattle Times reported.
Banda’s decision was informed by the recommendations of a specially assembled task force formed to deal with the fallout of the testing boycott, which began with teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, and ultimately spread to five area high schools altogether. Some 600 students refused to take the assessment, which teachers, parents and students said was a waste of precious instructional time which tied up library and computer labs for weeks on end. Educators demanded that the district scrap the twice yearly administered test, but all other schools in the district must continue to give the test. And high schools must come up with their own assessments for students.
The Seattle teacher testing boycott is but one pocket of the resistance to high-stakes tests. Part of the resistance is a reaction to new state educational standards which have given rise to yet more new testing regimes, but much of it is a reflection of educators, parents, students and now lawmakers who are sick of overtesting. Check out Erin Zipper’s infographic mapping the backlash to high-stakes tests.