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Monday, January 30, 2012

Could You Pass A High School Standardized Test?


Rick Roach, in his fourth term on the Orange County Florida school board, decided recently to take Florida’s standardized math and reading tests for 10th graders.

The results were less than brag-worthy: He failed the math test entirely, and scored a D in reading.

Roach argues that his poor performance shows that something is seriously wrong with the test.

“I have a bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit hours toward a doctorate. I help oversee an organization with 22,000 employees and a $3 billion operations and capital budget, and am able to make sense of complex data related to those responsibilities,” he told the Washington Post.

Roach’s critics disagree, saying every American with a high school education should know what’s in those tests.

A New Way To Test

Roach is using his experience to argue for a different approach to teaching and testing. As he told Here and Now‘s Robin Young, “I went to a remedial reading class for students, there was a girl there who was getting mostly A’s in her honors classes, and she was sitting in a remedial class learning how to read,” he said.

“She would be taking piano if she wasn’t taking that [remedial class]. These kids get put into an academic jail because some test says they can’t read. It’s just not right.”


  • Rick Roach, long time member of the Orange County Florida School Board

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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