Jose Banda who has not even logged a full year yet as superintendent faces his first tough challenge. Teachers say they dislike the map test so much they refuse to administer it.
Meanwhile, Banda says if teachers do not give students the test they could face a 10-day, unpaid suspension.
The superintendent acknowledges the test needs to be reviewed, but said despite criticism, canceling the test for this year is the wrong thing to do.
“I don't think it is fair to students. What we are forgetting about it this whole equation is this is all about students. Not everyone has or shares the same sentiment that these teachers do meaning teachers from Garfield and other schools,” said Banda.
A crowd of teachers and parents on Wednesday demonstrated against the map test, which is suppose to measure student's math and reading skills.
Superintendent Banda says he has received a number of email from teachers who support the map test and see value in it -- that it helps identify areas of weaknesses and strengths among students.
A couple weeks ago teachers from Garfield were the first to come out and say they will boycott the test. Mallory Clarke teaches reading at Garfield and says she has not administered the test to her students for the past three years.
She says the test does not measure what students really know. She says it wastes class time and despite the threat of an unpaid suspension, she says she will not give the test to her students this year.
“Of course it worries me,” said Clarke. “I don't want to be away from my students for that length of time. I don't want to lose a ton of money on a teachers’ salary but I am willing to do it because that's the right thing to do and it is also education for my students to see me standing up for things that are right.”
Principals received a letter from the district, which asked them to provide a clear directive to all teaching staff by the end of the day.
The superintendent says the test must be administered to students by Feb. 22.
Teachers and parents who say the test should not happen were headed inside a school board meeting to make their opposition known