Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Garfield High teachers drop Measures of Academic Progress test
Teachers stand up, give others hope
Teachers at Garfield High School have taken the action that teachers across the country have only dreamed of doing. [“Garfield High teachers drop required test,” NWFriday, Jan. 11.] Teachers know that the tests they are forced to give may offer good sound bites to politicians and generate huge profits for Pearson and other publishers, but they are worthless in terms of assessing student learning.
Teachers have talked of refusing to give these tests for years, but have failed to act because of fear. They are afraid of being fired, suspended, or disciplined for speaking the truth, and so the lie continues. Teachers give test after test, trying to minimize the harm done to their students as much as they can, and then try to sleep at night, knowing that what they are doing is wrong.
Today the Garfield faculty has given us hope, and inspiration. They have recognized that their strength is in acting together, and I hope Seattle Public Schools resists the temptation to simply discipline them as bad children. We the public have a role to play in making sure that does not happen. Join them, stand with them. Don’t let their truth be silenced.
--Doug Selwyn, Plattsburg, N.Y.