One year ago today, my colleagues and I at Seattle’s Garfield High School set off on a bold journey: we called a press to announce our unanimous vote to refuse to administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. That announcement led to what became known as the “MAP test boycott” and the boycott quickly spread to several other schools in Seattle, including to teachers at Orca K-8, Chief Sealth High School, Ballard High School, Center School, and Thornton Creek Elementary—while solidarity with the boycott spread around the nation and then around the world. We had no idea when we took that first step where our actions would lead. Would we be ignored? We would be vilified as bad teachers? Would the math and language arts teachers in the tested subjects be reprimanded, suspended, or fired? In fact, throughout the last school year our struggle against the MAP test reached such a magnitude that the Seattle School District retracted its threat of suspending the boycotting teachers for ten days without pay and ultimately dropped its requirement to use MAP at the high school level. I can now tell you with confidence, one year later, I know where our actions will lead: to the formation of a truly mass civil rights movement composed of parents, teachers, educational support staff, students, administrators, and community members who want to end high-stakes standardized testing and reclaim public education from corporate reformers.
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