The absolute worst story (and video) about standardized testing

I recently ran a post about how the state of Florida was forcing a 9-year-old blind boy who was born with a brain stem but without most of his brain to take the state’s standardized test, known as the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

The piece, written by veteran educator Marion Brady, explains that this travesty came to light when a state legislator, Linda Stewart of Orlando, heard about the boy, named Michael, and asked Rick Roach, a member of the Orange County School Board, to check out the story.

It was true. According to a story by News 13, a woman named Judy Harris who owns an Orlando care facility for children, the Russell House, said Michael came to her shortly after he was born, blind and missing most of his brain, and has been there ever since. The News 13 story says in part:

A teacher works with him twice a week for an hour, but Harris wouldn’t call it schooling.

 

“Michael loves music, he loves to hear, and he loves for you to talk to him and things like that, but as far as testing him, or questioning him on what is an apple and a peach, what is the difference? Michael wouldn’t know what that is,” explained Harris.

 

Imagine the shock from Harris when she was told two months ago Michael would have to take a standardized assessment test, similar to the FCAT.

 

Florida law requires that all students take a version of the FCAT, though Stewart is trying to get that changed legislatively.

You can watch a News 13 video about Michael and Harris, with footage of them together, along with Roach and Stewart, by clicking here.

To understand the real horror of this situation, watch it.

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.

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Valerie Strauss · April 7, 2013