We are opting our first grade son out of the MAP test—here’s our letter explaining why

Very important information for all parents and grandparents of school-age children.



The infamous MAP test is set to be administered in my son’s school this week. The MAP test is a computerized test meant to measure students in math and reading. Seattle Public Schools initially required MAP kindergarten through high school, with multiple testing periods per year. In 2013, Garfield High School launched a boycott of the MAP test and numerous schools joined in refusing to administer the test. By the end of the year the district announced that it would  no longer requiring the MAP test at the high school level. Since then, the increasing pressure of the opt out movement and scrutiny on the role of high stakes testing in our education system have continued to reduce the use of the MAP test in the Seattle Public Schools.

mapTest_LibraryThe opt out movement has pointed out that the MAP test consumes too much class time, monopolizes computers and shuts…

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8 thoughts on “We are opting our first grade son out of the MAP test—here’s our letter explaining why

    • Have you actually looked at this test, gerry? Having worked as a classroom teacher prior to attending medical school, I stand with the majority of Seattle teacher. All a computerized multiple choice test measures is a student’s ability to take a computerized multiple choice test. It definitely doesn’t measure knowledge or achievement levels nor the ability to perform critical thinking.


    • In Thailand grade one students have homework witch horrified my sister in Canada but my argument is homework at young age gets the parent involved and speaking personally I would still flunk grade 4 English as I still don’t get difference in to and too/ are and our


  1. Gerry, American teachers have always operated under very strict curriculum guidelines with school board oversight. The notion that testing is needed to provide “guidelines” is pure propaganda.

    As Alan points out, the ultimate effect of all this standardized testing (which started under George W Bush) is that teachers spend most of their classroom time teaching kids to pass the test. They don’t teach skills such as composition or critical thinking and they certainly don’t prepare students for jobs or participating intelligently in a democracy.

    What’s more parents hate the testing as much as teachers and students do – this is all being enforced by a corporate oligarchy when most of the key stakeholders oppose it. Which is why they’re fighting back.

    As a child psychiatrist, I also think it’s a big mistake not to take account of all the research in child development in designing our educational system. Contrary to popular misconception, children aren’t merely short adults. They undergo clear stages of mental, social, emotional and psychological development. When classroom teaching fails to take account of this natural developmental pathway, children won’t learn and worse still they frequently get labeled as having “learning disorders.”

    In Finland, where students all greatly outperform US students in math, reading and science, children don’t start school till age 7. This age was chosen based on all available knowledge about child development and I heartily agree: http://www.npr.org/2014/03/08/287255411/what-the-u-s-can-learn-from-finland-where-school-starts-at-age-7


    • to take account of all the research in child development in designing our educational system. I agree with “teachers have always operated under very strict curriculum guidelines” I disagree with as this is teaching the same things to group of children with totally different needs and comprehension and I don’t mean that the bright and slow should be separated but encouraged to work together .


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