“Standardized Lies, Money and Civil Rights How Testing Is Ruining Public Education,” a documentary that essentially argues tests like FCAT should be given a failing grade by every school district in the country, will debut in Florida on Saturday, January 25.
The film, produced by RockFish Productions, blends news footage of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama as the chief executives lay out an agenda to measure student knowledge in Math, English and Science.
Those statements are countered with footage of students, parents and teachers demonstrating against the tests and the results.
Dan Hornberger, a veteran high school English teacher is the force behind the documentary.
Hornberger has been pushing to get the film screened by parents and educators across the country and has already secured dates in 13 cities including Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale.
“The Florida parents who send their children to public school need to see this film,” Hornberger says.
The most compelling video offers footage of a mall basement where college graduates hired to grade the tests, are jammed into cubicles much like an assembly line.
One educator compares the grading to migrant workers getting paid “strawberry by strawberry.”
Rick Roach a member of the Orange County School board for the past 16 years has sent out invitations to state law makers and PTA’s hoping to generate an open discussion on the future of testing in Florida after the audience views the film.
Roach is one of 15 people featured in the documentary.
“Testing seems to rule the country, Roach says, it’s the big trump card in the deck.”
The film has been scheduled for a single screening at the Howard Middle School Auditorium in Orlando.
Florida PTA president Mindy Gould along with State Rep. Linda Stewart are among local VIP’s who will be attending the Saturday screening.
In the film Roach admits he took and failed an FCAT exam in 2011. He says he became “The dumbest teacher in America” overnight.
“I think it’s an education piece,” Roach says. “It is what I’ve been trying to do for two years person by person and make them what I call assessment literate.”