An Opportunity to Talk About Testing
The teacher-led boycott of the Measures of Academic Progress assessment at Seattle’s Garfield High School advances a critical dialogue about testing in our schools, but it also risks further marginalizing teachers as education leaders. The protest offers us an opportunity to have a more robust debate about how the right assessment can better help teachers improve practice and foster student learning. Unfortunately, the current polarized climate in education serves to obscure a complicated issue and reduce it to an all-or-nothing, pro-test vs. anti-test showdown.
The teachers at Garfield have made it clear that they are not against testing in general, but are resistant to using the map assessment specifically. ( "Teachers in Spotlight Over Testing Boycott," Feb. 6, 2013.) They believe it does not measure what they are expected to teach. And they are forcing a necessary national conversation, not only about the quality of assessments, but also about their alignment to curriculum and the...
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