“I, along with 3 million educators across the country, proudly support our members’ efforts in saying ‘no’ to giving their students a flawed test that takes away from learning and is not aligned with the curriculum,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the politically powerful National Education Association, the nation's largest labor union.
Seattle Public Schools warned teachers last week that they may face an unpaid, 10-day suspension for refusing to administer the test, which must be given by Feb. 22.
Mr. Banda, Seattle’s superintendent, increasingly is being urged by local media and others to take control of the situation and stop instructors from blatantly disregarding district policy. He was appointed in May to take the reins of Seattle schools after four years leading schools in Anaheim, Calif.
Last week, he announced the formation of a task force to study the Measures of Academic Progress and similar assessments.
Even before the boycott began in early January, Seattle schools planned to re-evaluate the benefits of the test at the end of this school year.
It’s possible that the test would have been nixed without the boycott.
For now, however, Mr. Banda is pleading with his teachers to give the exam. At the same time, powerful labor leaders and others are lining up behind those same instructors and urging them to stand their ground.
“I am asking as your superintendent that teachers follow our policies and procedures and administer this assessment for our students,” Mr. Banda wrote in an open letter last week. “This is especially important for our students who are the most at-risk academically. I am hopeful we will continue to work together in support of our students.”
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Ben Wolfgang is a national reporter for The Washington Times. Before coming to the Times, he spent four years as a political reporter in Pennsylvania. His focus is on education and science policy. Ben lives in southeast D.C. and has played guitar in several bands while still in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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