By Lisa Guisbond | Published January 16, 2013 by Answer Sheet Blog
If you are surprised at the surge of support for Seattle’s Garfield High teachers’ boycott of district-mandated standardized tests, you probably haven’t been paying enough attention. Perhaps a pop quiz will help. In June, I constructed a pop quiz on our national obsession with testing that proved surprisingly popular. It included questions on subjects such as Florida’s decision to dramatically lower the passing score on its writing exam due to embarrassing scoring glitches, New York’s eighth grade test and its absurdly confusing reading comprehension questions, and who pays for and who profits from our national testing explosion. It’s getting harder and harder to keep up with fast-moving developments in the national rebellion against high-stakes testing, so here’s another pop quiz to keep you on track:
1. What reasons did Garfield High School teachers give for boycotting the Measure of Academic Progress tests?
a) “It is not good for our students, nor is it an appropriate or useful tool in measuring progress.”
b) “There seems to be little overlap between what teachers are expected to teach (state and district standards) and what is measured on the test.”
c) The district planned to use the test to evaluate teachers even though the test-maker itself said it is not accurate enough to be used to evaluate individual teachers.
d) All of the above.