Opting Out of High Stakes Testing: Why & How

Session Presenters: Ceresta Smith, Tim Skelar, and Dr. Shaun Johnson
Session Type(s): Workshop
Date: Friday, august 3, 2012
Time: 4:00 – 5:30 PM
Room: To Be Arranged

This workshop will focus on the definition of high stakes testing, its relationship to market based reform, its negative impact on public education, and how to engage in the various degrees of opting out of high stakes testing.

Session Speakers

Ceresta Smith
Student Voices in Education Advocacy

Ceresta Smith – Florida

Ceresta Smith, an American University alumna, is a twenty-three-year veteran educator who has taught grades six through twelve reading and language arts, as well as beginning and advanced television production. She earned her National Board Certification in Adult/Young Adult English/language arts in 2002, and now serves as a teacher leader and mentor.

As a committed educator, activist and education blogger, Ms. Smith founded the Concerned Teacher Coalition in 2009 to address the inequities in Miami-Dade County’s predominantly African-American public schools. One of the original Event Planning Committee members of Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action, she continues to champion for equity and quality pedagogy in America’s public schools. Currently, she is one of the founders and administrators of United Opt Out National, an organization that is working to end the destructive nature of high stakes testing – a tool used by corporate profiteers to facilitate the privatization of public education. Ceresta is also regular blogger, her education articles can be found on Daily Kos and in other periodicals.

Timothy D. Slekar

Timothy D. Slekar – Towson University

Timothy D. Slekar is an associate professor of teacher education. Dr. Slekar began his career in education as a 2nd grade teacher in Williamsburg, VA. He also taught 5th grade in York, PA. Dr. Slekar attended the University of Maryland at College Park where he earned his Ph. D. in social studies education. During his studies Dr. Slekar worked with 7th and 8th grade teachers in the city of Baltimore. Dr. Slekar has published research in some of the top educational research journals (Teacher Education Quarterly, Theory and Research in Social Education, Journal of Thought). Dr. Slekar is one of the founders of United Opt Out

Shaun Johnson

Shaun Johnson – Towson University

Dr. Shaun Johnson is an assistant professor of elementary education at Towson University. He is the founder of At the Chalk Face, an education blog, podcast, and now nationally syndicated radio show.