Petition to Cancel the MAP® Test in Seattle Public Schools
To Superintendent Banda and the Seattle School Board:
We the undersigned families, members and supporters of the Seattle Public Schools community request that the Seattle School District discontinue the use of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP®) test in our schools as soon as possible, for the following reasons:
The MAP® test is:
1. Unreliable and inappropriate: MAP® is not well-suited for children in grades K-2, advanced learners, English Language Learners and Special Education students. Its margin for error is often greater than the margin of growth. The recalibration in 2012, in which the vendor, Northwest Evaluation Association, Inc. (NWEA), recalculated Seattle student MAP® scores retroactively for the past three years, also calls into question its accuracy and reliability.
2. Not aligned to our curriculum. MAP® does not correspond to what our children are learning in class. And with the introduction of a new Common Core State Standards test (already being piloted in some Seattle schools) MAP® is increasingly irrelevant.
3. Stealing valuable instruction time, access to library and computer resources. Schools devote weeks at a time to administering MAP®, 2-3 times a year. This lost class-time, and lost access to libraries and computer labs hurts student learning and is particularly inequitable for students who do not have computers at home.
4. Costly: By some estimates, MAP® has cost our district as much as $11 million in subscription, administration and related expenses. At a time when our district is facing significant growth, and capacity challenges, cutbacks in teaching staff, counselors and other essential resources, MAP® is not a responsible use of our district’s limited resources.
5. Unnecessary: Student portfolios of work and in-class assessments are more meaningful and accurate measures of our children’s progress and growth. MAP® is not necessary.
6. Used incorrectly: MAP® is being misused by the Seattle School District as a gatekeeper for access to advanced learning, to determine middle school math placement, and to evaluate teachers. These applications are prone to error and are uses for which the test was not designed.
7. Excessive: Our kids are simply being tested too much. In Seattle, as early as kindergarten, children are given the MAP® test as often as three times a year, plus the MSP test annually, beginning in 3rd grade, and the EOC, HSPE, SAT and ACT in middle and high school, and now, tests aligned to Common Core. This shifts the focus of education to test-prep and testing, at the expense of deeper learning, critical and creative thinking.
Overall, MAP® has proven to be a costly and damaging misuse of precious resources. Therefore, we respectfully request that the Seattle School District discontinue use of MAP® as soon as possible.
(For more information see: “15 Reason Why the Seattle School District Should Shelve the MAP® test – ASAP”