Dear Governor Scott,
We are a large group of students, who, like the majority, believe that the state should NOT base a Florida Public School teacher’s pay on the two or 3 days of standardized testing of their students.
Since you apparently have never had the opportunity to get a clear picture of who we really are or where we come from, we would like to introduce ourselves to you, as we gather this morning in the classrooms across our great state, to take the FCAT.
1) I’m a student who got 4 hours of sleep last night due to my parents fighting until 3am.
2) I’m a student who slept in my mom’s car last night, due to my uncle throwing us out of the house. We washed up at the McDonalds bathroom and I’m coming to school in the same clothes I wore yesterday.
3) I’m a student who stayed up texting my boyfriend all night because we had this huge fight and that is all that is on my mind now.
4) I’m a student who can’t process the paragraph I’m reading because I’m not on my ADD meds, because we lost our insurance and my parents can’t afford it.
5) I’m a student who is taking my little brother’s ADHD meds and selling them at school to the kid sitting beside me in testing.
6) I’m a student sitting behind the kid who is not on his ADHD meds and who is constantly trying to get my attention and making faces at me when the proctors aren’t looking.
7) I’m a student whose parents have locked me in my bedroom and taken everything away because I got caught sneaking out of the house. I hate them so much right now that I can’t even concentrate.
8.) I’m a student who is feeling so much anger and is about to haul off and beat on someone because I get berated every day by my mom’s boyfriend, who calls me a stupid little boy.
9) I’m a student who is hungry but gives my free school breakfast away each day, to a kid who says he’ll beat me up if I don’t.
10) I’m a student feeling nauseous and whose secret is about to be exposed because I have to tell my parents I’m pregnant.
11) I’m a student who was abused last night but can’t tell anyone for fear that my abuser will hurt me worse.
12) I’m a student that stayed up playing Farmville, downloading music, and talking on Facebook all night because my parents allow me to have my computer in my room.
13) I’m a student whose mom is dying of cancer and that is all I can think about right now.
14) I’m a really tired student who works 30 hours a week at Burger King, so I can help pay the bills my mom can’t pay on her own, even though she works full-time at Wal-Mart.
15) I’m a student who just doesn’t care about anything right now. My life sucks and this test doesn’t mean a thing to me. None of it does, I’m never going anywhere anyway!
16) I’m a student with a really bad cough and cold this morning, but my parents wouldn’t let me stay at home. I can’t even think straight, I took cold medicine but I am still hacking my head off.
17) I’m a student sitting next to the student hacking their head off. It’s really bugging me.
18) I’m a student who skipped a question that I thought was difficult and then I started bubbling in the next answer on the wrong line, so half of my test is all messed up. I don’t realize this, because I didn’t have time to go back and check.
19) I’m a student who just got placed in a foster home last night. My mother and father were both arrested. I’m worried and thinking about what will happen to them and me.
20) I’m a student who just got moved from one foster home to another and was immediately threatened by another foster kid there. I’m scared.
21) I’m a student who does try, but I simply have a low IQ and work very slow. I didn’t qualify for any exceptional student services or modifications because the state believes that we can all be mainstreamed and become high achieving, Level 5, students.
22) I’m one of many students who’s been distracted by the kids with behavior issues in my class, all year. I try to pay attention, but my teacher has had to spend a lot of time dealing with disrespectful students.
23) I’m one of the many students with behavior problems in my class. My parents don’t do anything when I get in trouble, so why should I come to class to learn, when I get so much attention for keeping everyone laughing? It’s fun!
24) I’m a student whose family is moving back to GA tomorrow to live with my grandma. We lost our house when mom got sick and dad lost his job. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to leave my friends. I’m sad.
25) I’m a student who sleeps in a bed with my little brother and little sister. We all sleep together since there are no other beds. I stay awake half the night, with them crying and tossing around and kicking me. I’m so tired and very sleepy.
26) I’m a student who gets bullied every day because of my clothes. I haven’t had new ones in a long time since my dad had the accident and lost his job. The clothes I wear are usually holey and dirty, since we have no washer and no money to go to the laundromat. I try to wash them in the bathtub myself, but it doesn’t get them very clean.
27) I’m a student whose Dad was just shot 2 days ago in the war in Afghanistan. He’s been gone over a year and I am so worried about him.
28) I’m a student whose mom just got sent to Afghanistan as part of the Reserves. She is my rock and biggest supporter and I am so afraid she will die over there!
29) I’m a student whose parents just divorced and my dad moved away with my brother yesterday. I did not want us all to be split up and that’s all that is on my mind right now.
30) I’m a student whose grandmother died last night. My parents thought it would be good for me to come to school, to take my mind off that fact.
31) I’m a student who has skipped school so many times I can’t keep up with everything. I’m lost on this test.
32) I’m a student who just started at this school 2 days ago. It’s my 4th school this year. I was living with my aunt, while mom was in rehab, and then back across town with mom when she got out the first time. Then I had to move to Grandma’s house, and a new school, because my mom relapsed. Grandma said she couldn’t handle me, so now I’m at another aunt’s house and another school. Hopefully this will be the last!
33) I’m a student whose teenage sister ran away last night. I’m really worried about her.
34) I’m a student who is really smart, but is sick and tired of my delinquent brother getting all of my mom and dad’s attention. They’re trying to bribe him with money to make good grades, but I don’t get anything, because I have always made As! Maybe if I just Christmas tree this test and fail, they’ll notice me!
35) I’m a very smart student whose parents want her to go to the private prep school across town. You have to have a certain GPA and FCAT scores to get in. I do not want to leave all the friends I’ve had since Kindergarten, so I am failing this test on purpose!
36) I’m a student who just doesn’t care. Just for kicks, I’m going to Christmas tree this test and see what happens. It’ll be funny!
37) I’m a girl who started menstruating for the first time ever, this morning on the bus. Right before we started testing, I had to go to the clinic and get clean pants. My mom has never talked to me about this happening, but maybe she thought she had more time. I’m only a 4th grader. I’m really freaked out.
38) I’m a student who has test anxiety, big time! I can do great if you ask me a question aloud, or just on regular school work, but say the word “test” and I start sweating!
39) I’m a student who has to baby-sit my younger brothers and sisters every night while mom works. I’m 12. I cook supper and do everything else that a mom usually does. I don’t have that much time to study and am always tired and falling asleep in school. I want to do better, but I’m doing the best I can.
40) I’m a third grade student who just pooped a little, in my pants, right after the test began, but no one knows. I’m too afraid and too embarrassed to tell the teacher. It is all I can think about. I wonder if I smell bad. My mind is not on the test.
41) I’m a girl who is literally starving herself to death. I’m anorexic and of course I don’t think it’s hurting my brain, but it has and I can’t remember half of what my teacher taught me this year.
42) I’m a student who believes that teachers’ pay should not be based on a 2 or 3 day test taken by their students. I have started a petition and a state wide effort to convince everyone to invalidate the tests by leaving the answer sheets blank, skipping every other one, or just connecting the dots, in a really artistic manner.
Anonymous But Real Florida Public School students