"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Face of Failure

These people are all failures.

I saw this video on Valerie Strauss' blog, the Answer Sheet at the Washington Post. Here's what she had to say about it...
There is one voice rarely heard in the screaming debate about the role of high-stakes tests in education: that of students.

Though the big focus today in education is on evaluating teachers and whether student standardized test results should be a part of educator assessment (they shouldn’t), there is no group more affected by high stakes on these exams than the people who have to take them. Results from a single test can determine whether a student moves up a grade or graduates from high school.

Here’s a video created by senior Tea’a Taylor from Freedom High School in Orange County, Florida, through the school’s Patriot Productions with help from digital educator Cody Stanley.
One of the people in the video is a school board member, Rich Roach, the adult who took the test. Read his story if you'd like an eye-opener...

Below is the video. Listen to these obviously intelligent students as they talk about their difficulties with 'the test.' Even if you don't believe they are good students, at the very least this is a good argument against (mis)using standardized tests to make high stakes decisions.

This video was about FCAT, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. It's used in the same way as Indiana's ISTEP...for labeling students, ranking schools, and evaluating teachers. This is not just happening somewhere else.

The filmmaker, Tea'a Taylor said,

Failing a test does not now, nor will it ever, define who you are and what you are capable of. Each and every one of us is capable of doing extraordinary things and one test does not determine your outcome. So is it fair for this test to label all of these individuals as failures? I don't think so, but for now FCAT is and will continue to be, the one deciding factor in the futures of Florida's students.

Policy makers, educators, parents...adults -- we need to listen.

Stop the Testing Insanity!


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