A Seattle teacher revolt against standardized tests has finally achieved national attention. The Seattle teachers' revolt has actually been going on for a while now, but reached a wider audience in a report by Yahoo! from Sunday (March 3). At the heart of the story is the growing movement to protest these standardized tests, spurred on by teachers that began a boycott back in January.
These standardized tests have become a very prominent part of the public education system over the last 10 years and it has led to many teachers simply "teaching to the test." As stated in the report, one of the big problems of this testing system is that is has shown a lot of achievement gaps. Those gaps appear along racial and economic lines, raising serious questions about how well the tests are actually preparing students.
As reported back in early February, this Seattle teacher revolt has divided teachers and administrators. Teachers at Garfield high schools boycotted the tests until Seattle Superintendent Jose Banda forced school principals and assistant principals to issue the tests to the students. The thoughts expressed at the time were that the teachers needed to follow district policy.
As for how the teachers felt about the test, Garfield history teacher Jesse Hagopian stated that the decision by Banda was, "a callous disregard for the will of the educational community that makes up Garfield." Many of the teachers simply felt (and probably still feel) that the test wasn't providing value to the students.
This Seattle teacher revolt is now receiving national media attention and it might just shine light on the situation that teachers had been hoping to receive.
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