Some STL City teachers upset with MAP test schedule
By Tom Weber, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – Some teachers in the St. Louis Public Schools are upset with the timing of the district's MAP standardized tests.
Testing across Missouri started this week and continues through April.
Most MAP testing in city schools are scheduled to start next Tuesday. But that's also Election Day, and the ballot features a race for School Board.
Teachers who are crying foul say that would keep them from working at the polls. The teachers union has endorsed Peter Downs and Donna Jones over current board members Darnetta Clinkscale and Jim Buford.
"Their professional skills tell them to work with the MAP tests," says union vice president Byron Clemens. "Their civic duties tell them they should be able to work in the election. We think it's a shame to bring politics into what is essentially an education issue."
The state gives schools in Missouri five weeks to complete testing. That clock started ticking this week, but district officials say this week is bad because city students just got back from Spring Break.
"Traditionally the district likes to give the tests as close to the beginning of that window as possible to ensure we have ample time to take the test and then, if students miss, have an opportunity to make that up," says Joe Jacoveno, the district's accountability officer.
Jacoveno says starting next week will give enough time for the tests and make-ups.
Also, federal law requires more students in more grades to take the tests this year, which officials say is another reason to allow the most possible time.
"It's real important we have enough time to do the job, and we need those four weeks to get that job done," added Jacoveno.
Seven names will appear on the ballot on Tuesday, but only five are actively campaigning.
Candidates for St. Louis School Board
|MCFARLANE E. DUNCAN*|