Joshua Katz is a public school teacher in Florida. He started off like many a new high school teacher: He lined the desks up in neat rows, taught bell to bell, made sure students stayed awake — the usual.
But then he started to read and research more of the nuances of his profession. He started trying different teaching techniques, experimented with desk organization, but he still found he couldn’t go as deep as he wanted to on certain topics with students.
“We had this looming test in April, which is bizarre. To assess a student on year-round learning in April with two months of school left is ridiculous,” he said.
Katz is referring to standardized testing. While it’s nothing new, Katz argued that its purpose has changed in a way that’s detrimental to students, teachers and the system as a whole.
This and other frustrations eventually led him to a national platform where he talked about what he calls the “toxic culture of education.”