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A message from the Superintendent

Jan. 23, 2013


Good afternoon,

Superintendent Jose BandaThere has been much public debate about the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment in the last few weeks.

Today I am announcing details of a Joint Task Force on Assessments and Measuring Progress. This task force will be a productive way for educators and our community to come together to discuss concerns and find solutions that best meet the needs of all our students.

I want to take a moment to emphasize the importance of data in our work as educators. Across Seattle Public Schools, we use multiple forms of data to help guide classroom instruction and measure progress. For many of our teachers and principals, the MAP assessment provides critical data to help screen the most vulnerable students for additional academic support and more personalized attention and to measure their growth and improvement over time.

At Seattle Public Schools, we must champion equity, access and opportunities for all students. I want to listen and better understand assessment concerns, and work with staff on a solution moving forward.

But in the meantime, I am asking as your Superintendent that teachers follow our policies and procedures and administer this assessment for our students. 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.

The new task force will have the opportunity to explore and review the strengths and limitations of the MAP assessment, and will consider potential alternatives to future district testing programs.

The task force will be formed in partnership with the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and Principals Association of Seattle Schools (PASS), and will include teacher representatives and school leaders. The input of additional stakeholders, including families, students and community members, will also be solicited to provide multiple perspectives. The task force will be formed immediately and meet at least twice a month from February through May. Final recommendations should be provided to me in May.

I am hopeful the task force will develop strong recommendations for making future improvements to district assessment processes. I look forward to a productive conversation.

Thank you for the work you do every day on behalf of our students.

Sincerely,



José Banda
Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools

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