"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Indiana Legislation Opposing Common Core Gets a Hearing

On Wednesday the Indiana Senate Education Committee heard testimony on SB 193, sponsored by Senator Scott Schneider, which calls for Indiana to withdraw from the Common Core Standards.

A crowd of close to 300 people showed up to the rally before the hearing to voice their strong support for this legislation. Among those speaking at the rally were former Secretary of Education Bill Evers and former TX State Superintendent Robert Scott, in addition to Heather Crossin and Erin Tuttle, the two moms who started digging in to Common Core when they noticed their children's math education had changed, and not for the better.

Tuttle recounted for the audience her frustrating search for someone accountable for how math was being taught in her child's school. This fuzzy math was confusing for both child and parent. It did not contain the standard algorithms most of us grew up with. More disconcerting than just the poor choice of teaching methods was the way responsibility for the math program was kicked down the road from teacher, to principle, to superintendent, to their state department of elementary education and finally to PARCC, the government funded assessment consortia that their state had signed on to with their No Child Left Behind Waiver application.  While Tuttle was able, with increasing difficulty, to get meetings with each successively higher office to find out why her child's school was using fuzzy math, she could not get a meeting with anyone at PARCC.

That's because PARCC is not accountable to the parents who ultimately have to deal with their children's experience with Common Core Standards. PARCC and SMARTER Balanced Consortia are private corporations, who are selling trademarked assessments to their forty five member states.  They are accountable to their governing states only in the aggregate. If any one state has an issue with the assessments they produce, neither consortia is obligated to do anything about it.  There are various rules for what form of majority is necessary for change to take place in each consortia, but that is not the point.  The point is that Indiana, and also Missouri are no longer in charge of their own state education standards. They must now negotiate them with a number of other states. If you as a parent or a school district want something different in your schools you cannot have it.

This is the core issue (if you'll pardon the pun) that we have with Common Core State Standards.  There is zero local control. Teachers may not deviate from or alter the standards in any way. They are trademarked. There is no path for correction, even for obvious mistakes like a simple math error that was identified early on in the draft phases, but was still not corrected three drafts later. There is no path identified for this because the roll out of these standards has been so fast there has been no time to consider everything that is needed for them to operate. That means that an error on the assessment will be repeated in 45 states and count against teachers in those states whose performance reviews now take into account how their students score on these assessments. 

Contrast that to the way MO DESE has handled our GLE's in the past. Yearly, teachers and districts were able to submit complaints or suggestions to DESE for ways to add clarity to our standards or identify errors that needed to be fixed. DESE had been reasonably responsive to this input and made most changes in a timely manner. That process will be completely gone by 2014 when Common Core is supposed to be fully implemented.

The one thing each district, and ultimately tax payer, will be accountable for is the cost of implementing the Common Core standards and assessments. No one really know what this cost is going to be for a number of reasons.  Missouri's DESE was not required to estimate this cost to each district, nor inform them that such costs were coming. If you ask your local shcool board or superintendent what their cost will be to implement Common Core, most of them will not know. More shocking will be the number of them who do not even know what Common Core is or that it is coming. 

Opponents of the legislation in Indiana said most implementation costs would be replacement cost for things already in each district's budget like professional development or materials. Proponents disagree, noting that teacher training will be far more extensive than traditionally done, possibly including out of town sessions in regional training centers. There is currently only one approved vendor for textbooks, Pearson. One teacher has looked into buying a replacement ELA book for the new CCSS in her fourth grade class and found the new book to be two and half times as expensive as the one she had been using for the last several years.  Districts will have little control over these costs, because they have virtually no control over the standards or assessments.

The assessments are an even larger portion of these costs as they are supposed to be done on line, which not only requires input devices like comptuers or tablets, but also sufficient broadband to accommodate all the students taking them at once. Once you add technology, you must also add a host of support staff to maintain and troubleshoot that technology, adding further cost to a district. In Missouri, we have no room in our state budget for these extra costs. That means local districts will have to find the money because the foundation formula is not going to give it to them.

Representative Kurt Bahr will be introducing legislation again this year to get Missouri out of Common Core. If Indiana's experience this week was any indication, he ought to find tremendous support for his bill here in Missouri, not only from public school families, but also from private school and homeschool families. Common Core is reaching in to all these education venues. As the realities of Common Core, which is being rolled out in various districts right now, come to light, our representatives in Jefferson City should start hearing a lot more from their constituents who want us out of this federally pushed national standards program.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Common Core Reality: The Cat's Out of the Bag in Missouri


Missouri districts will be required to use computer-based assessments by the 2014-15 school year.  Who/what is setting this requirement for your school district?

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Missouri schools are required to use computers for testing and the districts are reporting they don't have the funding for the computers, infrastructure and implementation.  

The article reported the Missouri Association of School Administrators found that 37 percent of districts lacked sufficient bandwidth and 44 percent needed hardware.This result contradicts DESE's statement that the vast majority (95%) of districts were ready for the assessments.
The article explains how administrators are concerned that the tests will not accurately test childrens' knowledge, rather, it will be a reflection of keyboarding skills.  Many districts do not have the funding available for these upgrades and they are apparently unable to make this transition.  

What this article doesn't address is WHY Missouri schools are transitioning to computerized assessments.  It's because of the common core mandates DESE, Governor Nixon and the State Board of Education signed taxpayers on to....unfunded mandates and nationalized standards/assessments.

CCSS mandates are going to cost districts money they don't have to comply with mandates voters never approved.

Can taxpayers file lawsuits under the Hancock Amendment to stop CCSS?  DESE, Nixon and the State Board of Education are mandating school districts to spend money they don't have for implementation of mandates taxpayers never had a chance to vote for or against.   Districts cannot tax citizens above a certain ceiling for schools without taxpayer approval.  
Would action under Hancock nix the expenditures and implementation mandated by CCSS? 

Are mandated common core costs borne by districts constitutional in Missouri?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gossip of the Day: Common Core Deconstructed.

A perfect description of common core standards?

The following is from a mother and a taxpayer who is NOT a paid education "reformer".  

Reprinted from whatiscommoncore:


A Mother Speaks Out: Children For Sale – Guest Post by Alyson Williams   

Children for Sale
By Alyson Williams
No more decisions behind closed doors!  Let’s get everyone talking about Common Core.

In the spring of 2011 I received a receipt for the sale of my children.  It came in the form of a flyer that simply notified me that my state and thereby my children’s school would comply with the Common Core. No  other details of the transaction were included. The transaction was  complete, and I had no say. In fact, it was the very first time I’d  heard about it.

I know what you’re thinking. That’s outrageous! Common  Core has nothing to do with selling things, especially not children!

Okay, so the idea that the State School Board and Governor who’d made this  decision could be described as “selling” my children is hyperbole. It is an exaggeration intended to convey an emotion regarding who, in this land of the free, has ultimate authority over decisions that directly affect my children’s  intellectual development, privacy, and future opportunities. It is not even an accurate representation  of my initial reaction to the flyer. I say it to make a point  that I didn’t realize until much, much later… this isn’t just an issue of education, but of money and control. Please allow me to explain.

That first day my husband picked up the flyer and asked me, “What is Common Core?” To be honest, I had no idea. We looked it up online.  We read that they were standards for each grade that would be consistent across a number of states. They were described as higher standards, internationally benchmarked, state-led, and inclusive of parent and teacher in-put. It didn’t sound like a bad thing, but why hadn’t we ever heard about it before? Again, did I miss the parent in-put meeting or questionnaire… the vote in our legislature? Who from my state had helped to write the standards? In consideration of the decades of disagreement on education trends that I’ve observed regarding education, how in the world did that many states settle all their differences enough to agree on the same standards? It must have taken years, right? How could I have missed it?

At first it was really difficult to get answers to all my questions. I started by asking the people who were in charge of implementing the standards at the school district office, and later talked with my representative on the local school board. I made phone calls and I went to public meetings. We talked a lot about the standards themselves. No one seemed to know the answers to, or wanted to talk about my questions about how the decision was made, the cost, or how it influenced my ability as a parent to advocate for my children regarding curriculum. I even had the chance to ask the Governor himself at a couple of local political meetings. I was always given a similar response. It usually went something like this:

Question: “How much will this cost?”
Answer: “These are really good standards.”
Question: “I read that the Algebra that was offered in 8th grade, will now not be offered until 9th grade. How is this a higher standard?”
Answer: “These are better standards. They go deeper into concepts.”
Question: “Was there a public meeting that I missed?”
Answer: “You should really read the standards. This is a good thing.”
Question: “Isn’t it against the Constitution and the law of the land to have a national curriculum under the control of the federal government?’
Answer: “Don’t you want your kids to have the best curriculum?”

It got to the point where I felt like I was talking to Jedi masters who, instead of actually answering my questions, would wave their hand in my face and say, “You will like these standards.”

I stopped asking. I started reading.

I read the standards. I read about who wrote the standards. I read about the timeline of how we adopted the standards (before the standards were written.) I read my state’s Race to the Top grant application, in which we said we were going to adopt the standards. I read the rejection of that grant application and why we wouldn’t be given additional funding to pay for this commitment. I read how standardized national test scores are measured and how states are ranked. I read news articles, blogs, technical documents, legislation, speeches given by the US Education Secretary and other principle players, and even a few international resolutions regarding education.

I learned a lot.

I learned that most other parents didn’t know what the Common Core was either.

I learned that the standards were state accepted, but definitely not “state led.”

I learned that the international benchmark claim is a pretty shaky one and doesn’t mean they are better than or even equal to international standards that are considered high.

I learned that there was NO public input before the standards were adopted. State-level decision makers had very little time themselves and had to agree to them in principle as the actual standards were not yet complete.

I learned that the only content experts on the panel to review the standards had refused to sign off on them, and why they thought the standards were flawed.

I learned that much of the specific standards are not supported by research but are considered experimental.

I learned that in addition to national standards we agreed to new national tests that are funded and controlled by the federal government.

I learned that in my state, a portion of teacher pay is dependent on student test performance.

I learned that not only test scores, but additional personal information about my children and our family would be tracked in a state-wide data collection project for the express purpose of making decisions about their educational path and “aligning” them with the workforce.

I learned that there are fields for tracking home-schooled children in this database too.

I learned that the first step toward getting pre-school age children into this data project is currently underway with new legislation that would start a new state preschool program.

I learned that this data project was federally funded with a stipulation that it be compatible with other state’s data projects. Wouldn’t this feature create a de facto national database of children?

I learned that my parental rights to deny the collection of this data or restrict who has access to it have been changed at the federal level through executive regulation, not the legislative process.

I learned that these rights as protected under state law are currently under review and could also be changed.

I learned that the financing, writing, evaluation, and promotion of the standards had all been done by non-governmental special interest groups with a common agenda.

I learned that their agenda was in direct conflict with what I consider to be the best interests of my children, my family, and even my country.

Yes, I had concerns about the standards themselves, but suddenly that issue seemed small in comparison to the legal, financial, constitutional and representative issues hiding behind the standards and any good intentions to improve the educational experience of my children.
If it was really about the best standards, why did we adopt them before they were even written?

If they are so wonderful that all, or even a majority of parents would jump for joy to have them implemented, why wasn’t there any forum for parental input?

What about the part where I said I felt my children had been sold? I learned that the U.S. market for education is one of the most lucrative – bigger than energy or technology by one account – especially in light of these new national standards that not only create economy of scale for education vendors, but require schools to purchase all new materials, tests and related technology. Almost everything the schools had was suddenly outdated.
When I discovered that the vendors with the biggest market share and in the position to profit the most from this new regulation had actually helped write or finance the standards, the mama bear inside me ROARED!

Could it be that the new standards had more to do with profit than what was best for students? Good thing for their shareholders they were able to avoid a messy process involving parents or their legislative representatives.

As I kept note of the vast sums of money exchanging hands in connection with these standards with none of it going to address the critical needs of my local school – I felt cheated.

When I was told that the end would justify the means, that it was for the common good of our children and our society, and to sit back and trust that they had my children’s best interests at heart – they lost my trust.

As I listened to the Governor and education policy makers on a state and national level speak about my children and their education in terms of tracking, alignment, workforce, and human capital – I was offended.

When I was told that this is a done deal, and there was nothing as a parent or citizen that I could do about it – I was motivated.

Finally, I learned one more very important thing. I am not the only one who feels this way. 

Across the nation parents grandparents and other concerned citizens are educating themselves, sharing what they have learned and coming together. The problem is, it is not happening fast enough. Digging through all the evidence, as I have done, takes a lot of time – far more time than the most people are able to spend. In order to help, I summarized what I thought was some of the most important information into a flowchart so that others could see at a glance what I was talking about.

I am not asking you to take my word for it. I want people to check the references and question the sources. I am not asking for a vote or for money. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I do believe with all my heart that a decision that affects the children of almost every state in the country should not be made without a much broader discussion, validated research, and much greater input from parents and citizens than it was originally afforded.

If you agree I encourage you to share this information. Post it, pin it, email it, tweet it.
No more decisions behind closed doors! Let’s get everyone talking about Common Core.
Thanks to Alyson Williams for permission to publish her story.

Head Start and Hurricane Sandy: Expensive Disasters?

Disasters:  Some are man-made and some are natural. 

Who would have thought federal funding for Hurricane Sandy victims would include money for Head Start? Why was more money for Head Start included in this package when it has been admitted by Health and Human Services (HHS) the programs has been a failure in creating long term educational results for children?

According to Jay P. Greene in Head Start Revealed:

Despite the obvious effort to delay and conceal the disappointing results from the official and high quality evaluation of Head Start, the Wall Street Journal shines the light on the issue in today’s editorial.  DC’s manipulating scumbags might want to take note that efforts to hide negative research might just draw more attention.  It’s comforting to see that the world may sometimes look more like Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment than Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The Journal reveals that Head Start supporters have not only ignored the latest study, but they are trying to sneak an extra $100 million for Head Start into the relief package for victims of Hurricane Sandy.  They also note that the most recent disappointing Head Start result is just the latest in a string of studies failing to find benefits from the program despite a cumulative expenditure of more than $180 billion.

Heritage Foundation reports on the study:

The timing of the release raises questions about whether HHS was trying to bury the findings in the report, which shows, among other outcomes, that by third grade, the $8 billion Head Start program had little to no impact on cognitive, social-emotional, health, or parenting practices of participants. On a few measures, access to Head Start had harmful effects on children.

Now that the report has finally been published, the findings of the scientifically rigorous evaluation that tracked 5,000 three- and four-year-old children through third grade should inform federal policymakers who allocate billions of dollars annually to Head Start. Moreover, Congress will soon vote on a supplemental aid package to Hurricane Sandy victims that includes $100 million in additional Head Start funding. The Senate Appropriations Committee notes that 265 Head Start centers will receive the funding, which equates to more than $377,000 per center.
...President Obama has pledged to use only one test when determining which education programs to fund: “It’s not whether an idea is liberal or conservative,” Obama stated, “but whether it works.”   HHS’s third-grade follow-up evaluation makes it unequivocally clear that Head Start fails that test.
HHS has released definitive evidence that the federal government’s 48-year experiment with Head Start has failed children and left taxpayers a tab of more than $180 billion. In the interest of children and taxpayers, it’s time for this nearly half-century experiment to come to an end. If the federal government continues to fund Head Start, policymakers should allow states to make their Head Start dollars portable, following children to a private preschool provider of choice.

So why is the Federal Government funding a program (slipping it into a hurricane relief package) that does not deliver the desired results?  In Texas, the clamor in the legislature for more federal funding for education gives you an idea of this type of government thinking and doling out money.  From texastribune.com:

The 83rd Legislature started with good news from the state comptroller: Susan Combs told lawmakers they’d have more than $101 billion to spend in the next session. Education advocates are already asking for more dough to head to Texas classrooms, including preschools.

Kara Johnson, with Texans Care for Children, a child advocacy group, quotes a 2006 study from the Bush school at Texas A&M University that shows it’s smart budgeting to support early childhood education.

“What the study found was that when you invest in high-quality care — the key is high quality — you get a 350 percent return on your investment," Johnson said. "Every dollar invested $3.50 back for local communities. And that’s at a minimum.”

Education is a good return on investment....to whom and for whom?  Local communities receive a 350% in what manner?  More bureaucratic jobs?  What does the child receive?  A "head start" in schooling that disappears by third grade?

The study Ms. Johnson references is not linked so it is difficult to determine exactly how many children were tested, if they had learning disabilities, were ESL students, low income, etc...and how these results were reached.  It is also impossible to determine if these children were followed after preschool and if so, how long the children were tracked.  There is also no definition of what is "high quality" and who/what agency determines the measurements.

Is an additional $100 Million Head Start investment and the increased call for universal  preschool for all children a good investment in education for the students or is it a good investment for the providers of mandated/federally funded initiatives?  As the WSJ article states in Greene's article:

Like so many programs directed at the poor, Head Start is well-intentioned, and that’s enough for self-congratulatory progressives to keep throwing money at it despite the outcomes. But misleading low-income parents about the efficacy of a program is cruel and wastes taxpayer dollars at a time when the country is running trillion-dollar deficits.

A government that cared about results would change or end Head Start, but instead Congress will use the political cover of disaster relief to throw more good money after proven bad policy.

That  proven "bad policy" of enrolling children in preschool seems to be overlooked by Kirkwood (MO) School District as well.  From The Kirkwood Webster Times:

Kirkwood Early Childhood Center Principal Melissa Sandbothe presented the board with an update on the center.

Sandbothe has her sights set on the future with the goal of developing a pilot design for universal preschool in Kirkwood. The purpose of the initiative is to give parents meaningful choice and assistance in choosing the child care and education arrangements that are right for their family when preparing their child for kindergarten. (MEW note on bolded sentence: Is Sandbothe stating preschool is ultimately a child care arrangement since the educational gains do not last much past 3rd grade?) The primary goal is to provide a community-wide system of quality early childhood options that allow every age-eligible Kirkwood resident student to access one year of high quality pre-kindergarten education. The estimated budget for implementing such a pilot program is $825,000.

Sandbothe, who stressed that the initiative is still just a vision, said she wants to implement the program so all children have an opportunity to attend preschool.

"The goal is to provide access to children who wouldn't otherwise have it - that's my long-term goal and vision for the community," she said. "I know there are a lot of questions and I don't have all of the answers, but I want to start the conversation."

Greene's article had one comment that may answer "why" Congress, school districts and states are throwing more good money after proven bad policy.  They might want to ponder the reason "why" before more time and money are spent on programs that have been proven not to attain their goals:
I find that the history of Head Start made far more sense once I knew Professor Mastery Learner that became Outcomes Based Education, Benjamin Bloom, was also the father of Head Start.

I also found it interesting that Head Start officially added a social and emotional learning component last year just like the real Common Core implementation where it is coming in as PBIS under RTI and the federal disabilities law, a Positive School Climate executive order, and many of those NCLB waivers to the states.

That SEL provision to Head Start also dovetails to the timing of AdvancED, the accreditation holding company, beginning to accredit early learning programs. Since the K-12 Quality Standards are all about the physical, emotional, and social needs of students with no mention of intellectual, we can expect something comparable for the little tykes. That’s a lot of years of affective manipulation as part of the student Growth and achievement being measured.

Am I the only one who tracks back to the definitions of the terms being used? It puts the Common Core in a completely different but accurate light than the hype.

The reader may have a valid point.  Reformers are trying to corral 3 year old children under Common Core like standards to gather student data for a managed workforce and/or to supply "free" daycare.  Outcome based education and state run daycare may finally be realized.  Maybe this is what Texans Care for Children, school districts and legislators have in mind for the ROI on money spent on preschoolers. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

StudentsFirst does NOT represent School Choice

Does this woman want even more control of educational decisions and state coffers? 

"Entrepreneurial investment in education technology has skyrocketed from $100 million in 2007 to $429 million in 2011. It’s peculiar that the huge increase in companies investing in digital classrooms and testing materials to eventually align with the Common Core State Standards’ requirements began the same year Rhee became Chancellor of DC Schools and Obama began his reign as president". 

Potter Williams Report: War on Education 2013 exposes the federal takeover of education and Michelle Rhee's involvement in the "choice" movement which in reality is not choice for parents.   It's not much of a choice to go from one school to another that has the same common core mandates and the same educational blueprint.  

THERE IS NO SCHOOL CHOICE, and if organizations both conservative and liberal tell you there is, they’re lying. Only the left has the playing field while conservatives grind their teeth on the sidelines. Hedge fund managers who control charter schools versus union-backed majorities on school boards? Where’s the choice? If you want to understand how the war is going, read about the battle for Bridgeport, Connecticut. This is the kind of education reform taking place across the country; and it’s not helping teachers, students, parents or principals who have skin in the game.
Recently StudentsFirst sent out a letter stating Missouri received a "D" ranking according to StudentsFirst's measurements.  It had its recommendations on how:
  • teachers should be evaluated
  • parents should be empowered
  • the legislature should fund education
Why is Michelle Rhee's organization dictating how districts should evaluate their employees, what choices parents/school boards should be making for children in their districts and how state government should be directing funding to educational programs?  Does StudentsFirst's attempts to correct Missouri's educational deficiencies (as it ranks them) reduce federal control and spending?  Do these attempts really create choice or just more public/private partnerships under the ruse of competition?  Ask yourself, what does this private organization have to gain from the changes it wants to see in Missouri....and other states?  Is it really "for the kids"?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Will Teachers Refuse to Administer Common Core Assesssments? Garfield Teachers Might Pave the Way for More Teachers to Say "NO".

Will teachers say "NO" to the Common Core assessments caused by "crises" fabricated by private interests?

Will Missouri teachers (and teachers from other states) stand up to the increased Common Core standardized assessments and begin to refuse the avalanche of testing required?  They can take a page from the playbook of teachers in Seattle who are saying "no" to testing.   From The Underground Parent:


The Garfield Stand and the Common Core: Will They Both Come to a School Near You?

The “Garfield Stand” may eventually come to a school near you following the roll out of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and related assessment implementation across the country.  What is the Garfield Stand?  It is what the teachers at Seattle’s Garfield High School are doing---they are taking a stand on important issues related to student assessment.  You can read about it in the letter from teachers at Garfield High School and at additional links provided below.  Teachers at another school, Ballard High School, are not just in sympathy with their Garfield colleagues; they are taking the same stand.

This may be the start of our seeing the hundredth monkey phenomenon related to the CCSS and other education reform issues. Individual teachers may not be comfortable or may even be fearful of speaking out on these issues but when they realize other colleagues have similar views and concerns, collectively they may take a stand as we see at Garfield. 

Is the Garfield Stand a preview of what we may see across the country in the not to distant future as teachers have first hand classroom experience implementing top down education reform mandates?

I encourage you to read the letter from the Garfield teachers.  The Ballard teachers wrote a letter supporting their Garfield colleagues.  That letter is copied below.  In a few years how many of the statements below will have a ring of truth if MAP is replaced with SBAC or PARCC assessments?

                        25 teachers at nearby Ballard High School signed a letter against continuing to use the MAP test, and in support of our Garfield colleagues:
                        The MAP test is a resource expensive and cash expensive program in a district with very finite financial resources,
                        The MAP test is not used in practice to inform student instruction,
                        The MAP test is not connected to our curricula,
                        The MAP test has been repurposed by district administration to form part of a teacher’s evaluation, which is contrary to the purposes it was designed for, as stated by its purveyor, making it part of junk science,
                        The MAP test has also been repurposed for student placement in courses and programs, for which it was not designed,
                        The MAP test was purchased under corrupt crony-ist circumstances (Our former superintendent, while employed by SPS sat on the corporation board of NWEA, the purveyor of the MAP test. This was undisclosed to her employer. The initial MAP test was purchased in a no-bid, non-competitive process)
                        The MAP test was and remains unwanted and unneeded and unsolicited by SPS professional classroom educators, those who work directly with students,
                        The MAP test is not taken seriously by students, (They don’t need the results for graduation, for applications, for course credit, or any other purpose, so they routinely blow it off.)
                        The MAP test’s reported testing errors are greater than students’ expected growth,
                        The technology administration of the MAP test has serious flaws district wide which waste students’ time,
                        We, the undersigned educators from Ballard High School do hereby support statements and actions of our colleagues at Garfield High School surrounding the MAP test. Specifically, the MAP test program throughout Seattle Public Schools ought to be shut down immediately. It has been and continues to be an embarrassing mistake. Continuing it even another day, let alone another month or year or decade, will not turn this sow’s ear into a silk purse.

I salute the teachers at Garfield and Ballard for taking a stand.  I feel it is unfortunate teachers feel the need to take such a stand.  Should they, and other teachers across the country, be making more of the decisions that will directly effect their instructional practices and their students’ education or should those decisions continue to be made by remote educrats and others at district offices, state departments of education, business and corporate offices, wealthy foundations, and Washington, D.C.?

The letter from the teachers at Garfield High School regarding the MAP test

Letter of support for Garfield High School teachers from Diane Ravitch

Garfield High School teachers say “NO!” to high stakes testing

Standardized test backlash: Some Seattle teachers just say 'no'

Garfield High teachers won't give required test they call flawed

Garfield High teachers refuse to give standardized test

Garfield High teachers refuse to administer District-mandated reading and math test

Garfield High School teachers boycott MAP assessment test
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