By THEO FRYE YANOS, age 10

Protests over standardized testing have taken place throughout the country. Here a student protests over-testing in Chicago Public Schools. PHOTO: Sarah Ji
Protests over standardized testing have taken place throughout the country. Here a student protests over-testing in Chicago Public Schools. PHOTO: Sarah Ji

In January of 2013, teachers and students in Seattle, WA boycotted the mandatory Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), a standardized test given to students in kindergarten through 12th grade two to three times a year.

The boycott started at Garfield High School, and spread quickly. The teachers and students boycotted the test because they believe that students’ scores do not accurately represent their knowledge. This is because students are not taught much of the material on the tests and are told that the test will have no impact on their grades. Therefore, the teachers concluded that the MAP was an unreliable source of data to evaluate teachers and students.

Because of the MAP’s unreliability, the teachers found that the time used for the test would be better used for learning. “People should…take a look at what we would replace the MAP with, and these are assessments that are related to our curriculum…that actually measure many different skills…” said Jesse Hagopian, a teacher at Garfield High who took part in the boycott. Although this boycott was a success, as Seattle High Schools will be allowed to opt out of the MAP test during the 2013-14 school year, the debate about high stakes testing has not ended and continues in other parts of the nation.