On January 21, the one-year anniversary of the historic MAP test boycott, teachers launched a campaign in the upcoming Seattle Education Association (SEA) union election.
Social Equality Educators (SEE) introduced its “Respect” slate of candidates and education platform for the upcoming SEA union election at a January 30th Garfield Community Center forum.
The SEE Respect candidates for office includes a coalition of MAP boycott leaders, members of the current SEA Board of Directors, award-winning teachers, teachers new to the profession, and veteran educators, including:
- Jesse Hagopian, “Secondary Teacher of the Year,” Garfield High School, leader in MAP boycott — For SEA President
- Marian Wagner, National Board Certified Teacher, Salmon Bay K-8, current member of SEA Board of Directors — For SEA Vice President
- Dan Troccoli, current Vice President of the SEA Substitute Association, founding member of SEE — For SEA Treasurer
- And a slate of other candidates for the SEA Board of Directors
“We have a bold vision for educating Seattle’s children,” said Jesse Hagopian, teacher and Black Student Union advisor at Garfield High School, and SEE’s “Respect” candidate for president in the upcoming Seattle Education Association election. “This month marks the one-year anniversary of the announcement by my colleagues at Garfield that they would defend students by refusing to administer the deeply flawed MAP test. That movement galvanized parents, students, and education advocates across the city and around the nation. Today, educators throughout Seattle — many of whom were inspired by our stand for authentic assessment — are organizing to bring this movement for an equitable, high-quality education into our union election.”
In January of 2013, teachers at Garfield High School began the “MAP test boycott,” a movement that was supported by the student body government and the PTSA. The boycott then spread to several other schools in Seattle, including Orca K-8, Chief Sealth International High School, Ballard High School, Center School, and Thornton Creek Elementary — while solidarity with the boycott spread around Seattle, the nation, and then around the world. The MAP test boycott by Seattle’s educators has been widely credited with having played a decisive role in transforming the debate around standardized tests in the U.S. — as was recently recognized in national media, including The Nation, Alternet, ColorLines magazine, and The Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet.”
“It was an extremely difficult decision to run for Vice President of the SEA because I don’t want to leave the classroom. I love the challenge of improving our world through teaching the next generation, but the education of our youth is not being supported systematically,” said Marian Wagner, 5th grade teacher at Salmon Bay K-8. “I can’t ignore the thunderous cry of phenomenal educators who are not being heard. I am agreeing to step up and run on their behalf.”
The Social Equality Educators will host an award ceremony on January 30th to recognize the leadership and courage of teachers participating in the boycott. Teachers and prominent community leaders fighting for social justice will also speak briefly, followed by the announcement of SEE’s Respect slate of candidates.
“The Respect slate of candidates is made up of teachers who support valid, reliable assessment, responsible evaluation, and full funding for the education of Seattle’s students,” said Dan Troccoli, the current Vice President of the SEA Substitute Association. Educators will elaborate on the Respect platform at the event.
“As a teacher in the Seattle Public Schools and a SEA union representative for many years, I have never been so excited about an election before because of SEE’s ‘Respect’ slate of candidates,” said Roberta Lindeman, a teacher at Chief Sealth High School. “I’m confident that these educators will best represent Seattle’s students and educators, will fight for student and teacher assessment based on best practices, and will bring a voice of reason to education reform.”