Tag Archives: students

The Best Thing… Ever.

Joshua Katz is the kind of teacher every parent wants for their child… the kind who believes the work of students is LEARNING, not testing; the kind who sees children as #morethanascore.  It’s the beginning of the school year, so he created an inspiring Video Syllabus for his new students.

…Lucky students.

This week, he was featured in a compelling piece in Mother Jones Magazine, with Opt Out Orlando’s Cindy Hamilton:

Joshua Katz says he tests his students using a variety of challenges and quizzes, but the only ones that officially count are the fill-in-the-bubble variety. “They tell me I must have data, and they don’t consider tests data unless it comes from multiple-choice,” Katz told me.

Joshua Katz has been a Math Teacher at University High School in Orlando, Florida for the past eight years and is an outspoken advocate for public education.

Here he is on the Fox’s, “Getting Schooled” in a segment called, “Local Teachers Concerned About Student Testing.”

See his viral TedX Talk: The Toxic Culture of Education

 

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Florida… Where The Number 1 Defines Children As Failures

TO ALL FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS WHO HAVE BEEN DENIED A DIPLOMA… based solely on a score of 1 on the FCAT

IF you have fulfilled all graduation requirements (met the GPA requirement, passed the Algebra 1 EOC or the PERT and have all required credits), but you have not passed the FCAT, the SAT or the ACT… 

IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO GET LOUD.  

STUDENTS CAN FIGHT BACK.  HERE’S HOW…

Find your voice

1.  E-mail a letter to the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and request to see your graded FCAT. This is the only evidence they have for holding you back, yet you cannot see it. They won’t send it to you, but you need the paper trail and proof that you made the request. (Vince.Verges@fldoe.org)

2.  E-mail your guidance counselor to request a “Score Inquiry”, again, for your graded FCAT. This is really the same process as Number 1 but on the school side. You may have to really push to get them to do this.

3.  Once you have been denied access to your graded test, in writing, by the FLDOE, contact us at OptOutOrlando@gmail.com. Make sure you keep copies of ALL correspondence.

The ACLU is looking at this as a possible case to pursue in court.

4.  Contact your State Senator and House Representative. Make an appointment and meet with them. Tell them your story. Tell them why the current policy of high stakes testing is not working. Tell them that after 13 years of being a good student, you are entitled to that diploma. 

Find your Florida Senator here.

Find your Florida House Representative here.

5.  SPEAK TO THE PRESS. If you know of others, you could speak as a group. We can help with that. OptOutOrlando@gmail.com

Last year, 9,000 students across the State of Florida were denied a diploma, based solely on failing this single test. This year, in Lee County alone, there are over 2,000 Seniors who will not receive a regular diploma.

Students have the power to change this. We cannot do this for you.

Do not allow the State to define you as a failure based on a single test score. You are #MoreThanAScore.

FIND YOUR VOICE and take back the power to cause change for yourself and for those who will be right where you are next year.

_____________________________

Shortlink: bit.ly/1KvRRc0


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