Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson penned an article in the Miami Herald blasting the state’s testing regime.

She blames it for destroying the lives of countless young people, who didn’t pass, were labeled failures, and did not get the education they needed to make their way in society.

She is a former school principal, and she describes the current obsession with tests and school grading as “madness.”

After years of complaining and pointing out missteps, and at times borderline criminal activity, I have reached the conclusion that the FCAT continues because it is a cash cow for adults who care absolutely nothing about our children.
I love children so much that to stand by any longer would betray who I am at my core.
Enough is enough, says the Congresswoman.
It’s time for parents, teachers and those of us who care to stand up and speak out against the injustices of the FCAT as if the lives of our children depend upon it — because they do. I tried to order an audit of the FCAT in Congress, but it is out of my federal jurisdiction. I call on Gov. Rick Scott and state legislators to demand that Florida’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability begin a forensic study of the FCAT now. There is too much at stake.
Every time a young black male commits murder in Miami, or even at times a lesser crime, I check their school records to see if they have a diploma. Most of them are casualties of the FCAT. I call them the FCAT kids. Whatever happened to career and vocational education?
Not everyone is going to college, period. But everyone needs a key to the next level of education. For goodness sakes, let’s stop this FCAT madness and allow these children to enjoy the music, arts, and sports that we enjoyed in school.
Teach them a trade; teach them life skills. Teach them how to write a check, save money, balance a check book, and manage a budget. If we are ever going to dismantle the cradle to prison pipeline and close the achievement gap in Florida, it is time that we as a state take back our children’s education from the hands of the FCAT. It is time to teach, teach, teach — not test, test, test.