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Teachers at Garfield High say MAP test is counterproductive, say they’ll refuse to waste students’ time, school’s resources

M E D I A   A D V I S O R Y

T H U R S D A Y,   J A N U A R Y   1 0 ,   2 0 1 3

For more information:

Jesse Hagopian, Teacher Garfield HS, 206-962-1685, hagopian.jesse@gmail.com

SEATTLE – In perhaps the first instance anywhere in the nation, teachers at Seattle’s Garfield High School will announce this afternoon their refusal to administer a standardized test that students in other high schools across the district are scheduled to take in the first part of January. Known as the MAP test, it purports to evaluate student progress and skill in reading and math. The teachers contend that it wastes time, money, and precious school resources.

“Our teachers have come together and agree that the MAP test is not good for our students, nor is it an appropriate or useful tool in measuring progress,” says Kris McBride, who serves as Academic Dean and Testing Coordinator at Garfield.  “Additionally, students don’t take it seriously.  It produces specious results, and wreaks havoc on limited school resources during the weeks and weeks the test is administered.”

McBride explained that the MAP test, which stands for Measure of Academic Progress, is administered two to three times each year to 9th grade students as well as those receiving extra support services.  The students are told the test will have no impact on their grades or class standing, and, because of this, students tend to give it little thought to the test and hurry through it.  In addition, there seems to be little overlap between what teachers are expected to teach (state and district standards) and what is measured on the test. 

Despite this flaw, McBride states, results of the MAP tests will be used by district officials to help evaluate the effectiveness of instructors who give the test. “Our teachers feel strongly that this type of evaluative tool is unfair based on the abundance of problems with the exam, the content, and the statistical insignificance of the students’ scores,” she says.

Refusing to administer a district-mandated test is not a decision the school’s teachers made casually, or without serious internal discussion.

“Those of us who give this test have talked about it for several years,” explained Mallory Clarke, Garfield’s Reading Specialist. “When we heard that district representatives themselves reported that the margin of error for this test is greater than an individual student’s expected score increase, we were appalled!” 

After the affected faculty decided unanimously to make a stand against the MAP test, they told the rest of Garfield’s faculty of their decision. In a December 19 vote, the rest of the school’s teachers voted overwhelmingly to support their colleagues’ refusal to administer the test. Not a single teacher voted against the action. Four abstained from voting. the rest voted to support it.

“We really think our teachers are making the right decision,” said student body president Obadiah Stephens-Terry.“I know when I took the test, it didn’t seem relevant to what we were studying in class– and we have great classes here at Garfield. I know students who just go through the motions when taking the test, did it as quickly as possible so that they could do something more useful with their time.”  History teacher Jesse Hagopian said, “What frustrates me about the MAP test is that the computer labs are monopolized for weeks by the MAP test, making research projects very difficult to assign.” Hagopian added “This especially hurts students who don’t have a computer at home.”

The $4 million MAP test was purchased by Seattle Public Schools during the tenure of former Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who left her position in 2011 and sadly passed away in 2012. Goodloe-Johnson sat on the board of directors of Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), the company that markets the MAP test. At the time, some pointed out this potential conflict of interest for Goodloe-Johnson, but the district went ahead with the purchase nonetheless.  NWEA itself warns that districts should not use the map test to evaluate teachers. We teachers of Garfield High School believe that the NWEA is right—this test should not be used to evaluate teachers.  For secondary teachers the test cannot provide useful information about students’ skills and progress.  Still worse, this test should not rob students of precious class time away from instruction. “We believe the negative aspects of the MAP test so outweigh the positive ones that we are willing to take this step,” said Language Arts teacher Adam Gish.

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— 1 year ago with 2 notes
#Seattle  #teachers  #education  #standardized tests 
I’d been waiting for Chev to drop his album well before I left Seattle, and I’ve been gone a good two and a half years… so let me say this is release is MUCH ANTICIPATED! Chev brings both passion and precision to the mic. Aside from being a dope rapper, he’s also a damn good, down-to-earth guy and much deserving of your support.
prometheusbrown:

bluescholars:

Click the photo to dl the homie Chev’s album Charles for free. Sabzi got a beat on there too.

Me and practically everyone in this Seattle rap community has been hounding our guy Chev to drop some music. Everybody who knows dude knows that he’s super filithy and though he’s been in the lab for minute, he hasn’t been the most prolific in an age where everybody’s dropping “leaks” and “mixtapes” and “EPs” and “freestyles” and “actual freestyles.” 
Today, Chev dropped a full-length album. It got a ton of heart in it. Sabzi produced track #10 and I produced track #2, sort of. Click the photo to get it free via bandcamp or support a working class artist by copping it on iTunes.

I’d been waiting for Chev to drop his album well before I left Seattle, and I’ve been gone a good two and a half years… so let me say this is release is MUCH ANTICIPATED! Chev brings both passion and precision to the mic. Aside from being a dope rapper, he’s also a damn good, down-to-earth guy and much deserving of your support.

prometheusbrown:

bluescholars:

Click the photo to dl the homie Chev’s album Charles for free. Sabzi got a beat on there too.

Me and practically everyone in this Seattle rap community has been hounding our guy Chev to drop some music. Everybody who knows dude knows that he’s super filithy and though he’s been in the lab for minute, he hasn’t been the most prolific in an age where everybody’s dropping “leaks” and “mixtapes” and “EPs” and “freestyles” and “actual freestyles.” 

Today, Chev dropped a full-length album. It got a ton of heart in it. Sabzi produced track #10 and I produced track #2, sort of. Click the photo to get it free via bandcamp or support a working class artist by copping it on iTunes.

— 2 years ago with 32 notes
#seattle  #hip hop  #Chev 
I  remember this woman, Dorli, 84, from the antiwar and human rights work I  did in Seattle. She’s such a sweet lady, not to mention fierce, sharp, and a dedicated life-long activist. She would attend nearly every protest as well as contribute to the  organizing. Of course she would be supporting Occupy Seattle. So the  Seattle PD maced her, along with a pregnant woman who had to be  evacuated by ambulance, a priest, and many others.
carton-rouge:

84-year-old Occupy Seattle participant Dorli Rainey, pictured above after being pepper sprayed by Seattle Police on November 15th.
She later wrote about the incident:
“Something funny happened on my way to a transportation meeting in Northgate. As I got off the bus at 3rd and Pine I heard helicopters above. Knowing that the problems of New York would certainly precipitate action by Occupy Seattle, I thought I better check it out. Especially since only yesterday the City Government made a grandiose gesture to protect free speech. Well free speech does have its limits as I found out as the cops shoved their bicycles into the crowd and simultaneously pepper sprayed the so captured protesters. If it had not been for my Hero (Iraq Vet Caleb) I would have been down on the ground and trampled. This is what democracy looks like. It certainly left an impression on the people who rode the No. 1 bus home with me. In the women’s movement there were signs which said: “Screw us and we multiply.’”
I remember this woman, Dorli, 84, from the antiwar and human rights work I did in Seattle. She’s such a sweet lady, not to mention fierce, sharp, and a dedicated life-long activist. She would attend nearly every protest as well as contribute to the organizing. Of course she would be supporting Occupy Seattle. So the Seattle PD maced her, along with a pregnant woman who had to be evacuated by ambulance, a priest, and many others.

carton-rouge:

84-year-old Occupy Seattle participant Dorli Rainey, pictured above after being pepper sprayed by Seattle Police on November 15th.

She later wrote about the incident:

“Something funny happened on my way to a transportation meeting in Northgate. As I got off the bus at 3rd and Pine I heard helicopters above. Knowing that the problems of New York would certainly precipitate action by Occupy Seattle, I thought I better check it out. Especially since only yesterday the City Government made a grandiose gesture to protect free speech. Well free speech does have its limits as I found out as the cops shoved their bicycles into the crowd and simultaneously pepper sprayed the so captured protesters. If it had not been for my Hero (Iraq Vet Caleb) I would have been down on the ground and trampled. This is what democracy looks like. It certainly left an impression on the people who rode the No. 1 bus home with me. In the women’s movement there were signs which said: “Screw us and we multiply.’”

(via occupywallstreet)

— 2 years ago with 9186 notes
#occupy seattle  #seattle  #police brutality  #occupy everywhere 

Olaf’s Song of the Day:

Abyssinian Creole | Same As I Ever Was | Sexy Beast

Friends, talented musicians, and dedicated community activists, educators and youth workers, Khalil and Gabe united as Abyssinian Creole and put out their album Sexy Beast (a coffee reference) in 2005. Six years later, this album marks an important point in my history, having recently graduated from WSU and moving to Seattle—and everything that comes along with working, socializing, and organizing in a new city. Sexy beast is a time marker for me.

As I listened to “Same As I Ever Was” tonight, I knew I had to share it. While I’m still the same me as I was six years ago, so much has changed both in my own life and the world at large. As life moves forward, I’m happy to have songs like this provide the soundtrack for the future.

— 2 years ago with 16 notes
#song of the day  #Abyssinian Creole  #Gabriel Teodros  #Khingz  #hip hop  #seattle 
This is a piece I made several years ago for the Youth in Focus zine, [Click]. While I don’t know if I’d pair this photo with this quote today, I’d like to get back to this concept and produce some more pieces. If you have any quote suggestions, please send them my way!
The photo is from a January 3rd protest in Seattle against the Gaza massacre—three weeks of intense bombing of the Gaza Strip by Israel, claiming more than 1,000 Palestinian lives and 13 Israeli lives, causing more than $2 billion in damages in Gaza, and destroying more than 4,000 Gaza homes—that took place in December 08-January 09.

This is a piece I made several years ago for the Youth in Focus zine, [Click]. While I don’t know if I’d pair this photo with this quote today, I’d like to get back to this concept and produce some more pieces. If you have any quote suggestions, please send them my way!

The photo is from a January 3rd protest in Seattle against the Gaza massacre—three weeks of intense bombing of the Gaza Strip by Israel, claiming more than 1,000 Palestinian lives and 13 Israeli lives, causing more than $2 billion in damages in Gaza, and destroying more than 4,000 Gaza homes—that took place in December 08-January 09.

— 2 years ago with 21 notes
#palestine  #marx  #photography  #quotes  #Seattle  #protest 

Olaf’s Song of the Day:

Gabriel Teodros (ft. Toni Hill) | Racoon Rock | Lovework

One of my favorite songs off of Gabe’s Lovework. Been busier than ever the last couple weeks after many months of too much idle time. It feels good and I’m keeping my head above that feeling of being overwhelmed.

— 2 years ago with 5 notes
#song of the day  #hip hop  #seattle  #Gabriel Teodros 

Olaf’s Song of the Day:

Blue Scholars - John DeLorean

Blue Scholars are one of my favorite music groups, my very favorite hip hop group, and I’m happy to call Geo and Saba friends. From my very first time hearing an early version of “Blink” on an AnakBayan*Seattle mixtape nearly a decade ago, to the songs I’ve heard from their upcoming album Cinematropolis, both Geo and Saba continue to push their own boundaries, their sound evolving noticeably from release to release.

I share all of that to say that I was happy to wake up to this email (and song!) in my inbox this morning! (many of you probably got the same email, but for those who didn’t, allow me to share!)

Sup homie.

Geo and I were having a discussion the other day about super powers: If you could have just one super power, what would it be?

Like a child, I said “I’d be able to fly!” and then I grinned hella big. Geo shook his head and said “Word? Well, I’d have the ability of time travel.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Think about it,” he said. “With time travel, you actually have the capacity to secure any other super power you wanted. For example, if you wanted to fly, you could just travel to a future time where personal flying technology was developed and bring it back. Now you have the ability to fly AND the ability to travel through time.”

After hearing this explanation I changed my answer to time travel as well.

“Also,” he continued with a chuckle, “you could hear a really dope song and then go back 4 months and just write and release it before that artist did hahaha.”

This was funny to me. “You sound like you’ve thought about time travel a lot.”

“I have,” he replied. “I even wrote a song about it. Here.”

“Oh snap. We should put this out.”

“Sure, and your email could basically be a recap of this conversation.”

“Hey, great idea.”

In other news, there’s only three days left to pledge to the Cinemetropolis Kickstarter Campaign . We’ve nearly doubled our goal and we are so very appreciative of all of you who have contributed thus far.

(“appreciative of all of you”… is that a poorly written sentence? i’m not sure. that’s why i stick to beats and leave the words to these rapper guys)

Also! We’ve added a new incentive for folks who haven’t yet pledged to the campaign: a digital copy of the album in advance PLUS a snazzy pair of Blue Scholars sunglasses (snazzglasses) for only $20.

Holler at that here.

DOWNLOAD JOHN DeLOREAN 

SABA (SABZI) (SABA)

— 3 years ago with 2 notes
#Blue Scholars  #hip hop  #seattle  #song of the day 
I took this photo in April of 2009, literally in my last days of working at Youth In Focus, an amazing free youth photography program in Seattle where I was lucky enough to work behind the scenes for almost two years.
I got this shot while on a field trip to Alki Beach with students and mentors. We’d stopped for a snack, and while folks were eating at the picnic table, a group of seagulls were eating some trash at a nearby wall. I went over to the wall, crouching, scooting closer and closer to the gulls. As I got closer, more and more of the birds began to fly away. There were these persistent seagulls who didn’t seem to care how close I was, they kept pecking at the trash. This shot captures that moment as the last gulls flew off, allowing me to get within arms reach before they took flight.
This is not the photo I intended to get. Indeed, I had no intentions but only curiosity about this swarm of scavenging birds. The whole time I was inching towards the gulls I had my camera to my face, snapping photo after photo. As I looked at the back of my camera and saw this captured moment, I knew my curiosity had paid off.

I took this photo in April of 2009, literally in my last days of working at Youth In Focus, an amazing free youth photography program in Seattle where I was lucky enough to work behind the scenes for almost two years.

I got this shot while on a field trip to Alki Beach with students and mentors. We’d stopped for a snack, and while folks were eating at the picnic table, a group of seagulls were eating some trash at a nearby wall. I went over to the wall, crouching, scooting closer and closer to the gulls. As I got closer, more and more of the birds began to fly away. There were these persistent seagulls who didn’t seem to care how close I was, they kept pecking at the trash. This shot captures that moment as the last gulls flew off, allowing me to get within arms reach before they took flight.

This is not the photo I intended to get. Indeed, I had no intentions but only curiosity about this swarm of scavenging birds. The whole time I was inching towards the gulls I had my camera to my face, snapping photo after photo. As I looked at the back of my camera and saw this captured moment, I knew my curiosity had paid off.

— 3 years ago with 4 notes
#bw  #seattle  #youth in focus  #photography  #seagull