Seventeen-year-old Nikhil Goyal speaking at Florida International University

Ceresta Smith A Miami-Dade County Public School Teacher
Ceresta Smith is a Miami-Dade County Public School teacher

“NCLB effectively created the system of “teaching to the test” and “canned curricula” giving teachers less and less control over their classrooms, while  students spend more and more time preparing for tests and practicing test-taking skills.

Students are certainly learning how to take standardized tests, but not actual content: when they are tested on the same material in a different format, they cannot demonstrate any real subject mastery. Even those students in districts that have shown impressive gains over the past few years under NCLB cannot transfer those skills, failing to perform on different tests of similar content.”

The above quote by Daniel Koretz, author of Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us, accurately depicts some of what is going on in public education today.  If one looks further, they will discover that much of this testing craze supported by No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and Florida’s Senate Bill 736 is leading towards the de-professionalization of the teaching profession and the privatization of public education, as tax dollars set aside for public education are landing into the coffers of private profiteers.  Sad reality is this is at the expense of quality and equitable education for most of America’s youth.

One sagacious young Woodbury, New York high school student is speaking out against this atrocity and speaking up for students and their educators. His name, Nikhil Goyal  And he is speaking at Florida International University, on Saturday, November 17th in the South Campus Graham Center at 2:00 PM. A vocal opponent of current education reform policies, in his recently published book titled One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School, he had this to say about the Race to the Top competitive grants of the Obama administration instituted by Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan:

The $4.35 billion competition gives millions to states that best adopt Duncan-based policies.  The required, loathsome mandates include requiring states to link teachers’ salaries and evaluations to students’’ achievement on standardized testing, continuing an emphasis on high-stakes testing, implementing assessments for preschoolers, mandating that states sign on to Common Core standards, and beefing up funding for charter schools. Stir it all up and you get a recipe for disaster.

Goyal, lauded as the “emerging voice of his generation,” is an engaging and sought after speaker who has lectured world-wide on the dumbing down of public education, the unfair treatment of teachers, and the need for a complete transformation of public education in America.

Students, educators, policy makers, parents and taxpayers are invited to engage in dialogue with this young man who asks the question, “Can you imagine a child wanting to learn more when the end of the school day is over?”  And responds with, “That’s when we will know the system is finally working.”

Ceresta Smith, NBCT Administrator for United Opt Out National Opt out of high stakes testing! Boycott Pearson! Learn how @