Global Day of Action for MAP Test Boycott: Many Thanks From a Garfield Teacher

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Common Dreams

Global Day of Action for MAP Test Boycott: Many Thanks From a Garfield Teacher

Yesterday, February 6, was a national day of action to support Seattle teachers’ boycott of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. The response was astounding. We received messages of solidarity from across the country and across the world. We heard from parents, teachers, students and community members in Victoria, BC; Austin, TX; Oxfordshire, UK; Rochester, NY. Our union brothers and sisters in the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates voted unanimously to support our struggle, and the More than a Score coalition in the same city gathered signatures at 36 schools against flawed standardized testing. Portland students inspired us today by initiating their own historic boycott of the standardized OAKS tests. In Seattle there were rallies at Orca, Chief Sealth High School, Roosevelt High School, Ballard High School, and many others. There were still many other solidarity actions from around the nation, and they are being posted at the Scrap the MAP website as they pour in.

When we began the boycott at Garfield High School, we had no idea that the news of our small action for quality assessment and educational justice would reach so many people. What for us was a stand against a particularly flawed test has sparked hope and support among masses of people who believe that all children deserve a well-rounded, culturally relevant, and meaningful education. We are proud to be part of this movement and humbled by the solidarity we have received.

Morale at our school has never been higher. Beyond the boycott by teachers, hundreds of parents and students have decided to opt out of the test. Parents, teachers, and students at Garfield are united in our demand for education that meets the needs of our students. We are thrilled that others may be inspired by our action to take a stand for education in their own schools and communities, and we look forward to seeing this movement grow and evolve.

In solidarity,

Jesse Hagopian

Teacher, Garfield High School

Jesse Hagopian

Jesse Hagopian teaches history and is the Black Student Union adviser at Garfield High School, the site of the historic boycott of the MAP standardized test.  Jesse is the editor and contributing author to the forthcoming book, More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing. Jesse an associate editor for Rethinking Schools magazine, a founding member of Social Equality Educators (SEE), and recipient of the 2013 “Secondary School Teacher of Year” award from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. Follow Jesse on his blog at www.iamaneducator.com or on Twitter: @jessedhagopian

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