Standardized, a documentary arguing against high-stakes testing, to get free screening in Orlando

Standardized, a movie that argues testing is "ruining public education," will be shown in Orlando on Jan. 25 at a free screening open to the public. The movie features Rick Roach, an Orange County School Board member, who has been campaigning against high-stakes testing and its prominent role in Florida public education.

The movie will be shown at Howard Middle School at 1:30 p.m.  Roach and others interested in the issue are to take part in a panel discussion after the movie ends.

The movie, as we reported last month, was done by a small Pennsylvania production company started by a high school English teacher. It has shown in several cities and lists on its website upcomings screenings in a number of others, including one in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 13.

Standardized , Lies, Money and Civil Rights: How Testing is Ruining Public Education features interviews with parents and educators opposed to high-stakes testing. Roach has been vocal in his criticism of how Florida uses the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test -- its main standardized test -- to help make promotion, graduation and class-assignment decisions for students, judge and grade public schools.

Roach's views run counter to those of Florida's education leaders, who say standardized testing is a key part of the state's accountability system -- and a key reason Florida elementary students have better reading skills than they did a decade ago.

The movie's makers disagree. According to the movie's website, "Test scores, mistakenly viewed as effective assessments of student ability and teacher/school effectiveness, are anything but. This film sheds light on the invalid nature of these tests, the terrible consequences of high-stakes testing, and the big money that's involved."

Howard Middle school is at 800 E. Robinson St., Orlando.



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