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New FEA video shows state’s inflexibility on testing

Tallahassee, Fla. - February 26, 2014 -

Florida Education Association (FEA) Vice President Joanne McCall said Wednesday that the Florida Department of Education and top officials who set its course show a rigid adherence to standardized tests at the expense of Florida’s students.

McCall showed the debut of a new FEA video, “Our Students Are More Than a Test,” which shows students at Karen M. Siegel Academy in Lake Alfred in Polk County and their struggles with state-mandated standardized tests. The students, who have severe disabilities, are required to participate in standardized tests that clearly are not appropriate.

“I was saddened – and angered – to watch this video and to see what students must go through to meet Department of Education requirements,” McCall said. “Yet these tests are used by the Department of Education and required by state officials to grade schools and evaluate teachers. This video illustrates clearly that the state follows a rigid adherence to the test, not what’s good for our students.”

McCall added that the children shown in “Our Students Are More Than a Test” were a clear example of the state’s misuse of testing, but other students were also impacted by the state’s unbending attitude toward testing.

“These high-stakes tests are valued above everything else by those who set education policy in Florida,” McCall said. “They are valued more than teachers and other school employees, they are valued more than administrators and local officials who run our schools and they are valued more than the children we work with each day to educate and prepare for their lives as respected members of our society.

“We need to bring some sanity to this testing madness.”

Additional Information About the Video

You can find a YouTube of our main video here:

There are four vignettes each featuring a student in the main video:

In December, we filmed four special needs students at Karen M. Seigel Academy in Polk County ( We followed the four students (Luis, Joiah, Audrey and Joseph) being tested for the Florida Alternate Assessment. We interviewed parents and family members.

For the Media attending we will provide a DVD with DATA files of the video that they watched, along with a clean version without music, narration or Supers. They are M-Peg 4 files (mp4) and .MOV in HD. If anybody needs or wants the original high quality .MOV file, it is available to download online -- clean with split audio. It’s a large file -- about 8 gigs. Go to: -- User name: -- password is Media123. The download file also includes the times and names for the Supers.

Our Kids are more than a Test CG information

0:04 Andy Ford, president -- Florida Education Association
0:40 Audrey
1:00 Eric, Audrey’s father
1:05 Solunte, Joiah’s mother
1:10 Joiah
1:16 Maria, Luis’s mother
1:23 Luis
1:36 Joseph
1:44 Julie, Joseph’s mother
2:14 Donna Swindle, principal
3:10 Kathleen Nall, teacher
3:54 Lavonna, Joiah’s sister
4:18 Holly, Audrey’s mother

There are also four vignettes about each of the children featured in the main video that you can download at the high-quality website.


The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with more than 140,000 members. FEA represents pre K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.

Media Contact: Mark Pudlow (850) 201-3223 or (850) 508-9756


Our Main YouTube Video

There are four vignettes each featuring a student in the main video: