Kevin Strang, a music teacher in Orange County, Florida, made news last year when he won a bonus of $800 for teaching in an A-rated school, and he donated his bonus to the Network for Public Education to fight failed policies like VAM.

 

Now Strang is moving on a new front to stop the ongoing destruction of public schools in Florida. He is raising money for a pro-public education candidate for state senate, Rick Roach. Strang is doing this by doing what he knows best: He is organizing a concert with a world-class musician in a private home and selling tickets with the goal of raising $10,000 to help Roach’s campaign. Kevin Strang understands the crucial ingredient in stopping the attacks on public schools and their teachers: Elect candidates who support their community’s public schools.

 

A school board member in Orange County for four terms, Rick Roach took the student standardized test in 2012 to learn what it measured. This is what he said about the FCAT:

 

“I won’t beat around the bush. The math section had 60 questions. I knew the answers to none of them, but managed to guess ten out of the 60 correctly. On the reading test, I got 62% . In our system, that’s a ‘D,’ and would get me a mandatory assignment to a double block of reading instruction.

 

“It seems to me something is seriously wrong. I have a bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit hours toward a doctorate. I help oversee an organization with 22,000 employees and a $3 billion operations and capital budget, and am able to make sense of complex data related to those responsibilities….

 

This is Strang’s press release:

 

 

Music Teacher raises thousands for Pro-­Public School Candidate

 

Benefit Concert features the best young violinist in the world

 

ORLANDO, Florida, June 18, 2015 ­ Frustrated by education policy in the state of Florida, music teacher and business man Kevin Strang is throwing a benefit concert for Judge ‘Rick’ Roach, Democrat Candidate for Florida Senate. “Teacher’s voices are not being heard and strongly worded letters get you nowhere, the only way we are going reclaim public education is by getting pro­public school candidates elected and that takes money, and plenty of it. Rick has a vision for education and Florida that must be heard”, said Strang.

 

The goal of the Benefit Concert is to raise $10,000 for Roach’s campaign. With a week left before the show more than $5000 has already been raised for his campaign. “The response has been tremendous”, said Strang. One couple who could not attend purchased two tickets and donated them to aspiring young music students who normally wouldn’t be able to experience a concert given by a world class musician.

 

The concert will be held at a private home in Orlando the evening of June 25th and will feature the 2015 Top Prize Winner of the Seoul Violin Competition and Winter Park resident, Suliman Tekalli along with his pianist sister Jamila Tekalli. Winning ‘Top Prize’ in this competition is a very big deal crowning Tekalli one of the best violinist in the world. A chamber orchestra made up of Strang and other like minded music teachers will accompany Tekalli on a Violin Concerto by Vivaldi. Strang explained, “while I was putting this event together many of my colleagues asked how they could help, putting an orchestra together to contribute to the musical program was a no­-brainer ”.

 

Products of the public school system, featured artists Suliman and Jamila Tekalli grew up in Winter Park and attended Winter Park High School, Glenridge Middle School, and Aloma Elementary. Mr. Strang first met and performed with the Tekalli’s while working on his Master’s Degree at the University of Central Florida. “I knew then that they were amongst the finest musicians I had ever heard or played with, now that Suliman has won Top Prize and Jamila has earned her Doctorate the rest of the world is discovering it too. It’s a miracle that we found a date during their busy touring schedule that they both would be in town to perform.”, said Strang.

 

People interested in supporting Rick’s campaign and reserving the one of the few remaining seats left for the concert should contact at ​rick@rickroachforsenate.com​. The recommended contribution is $250 per ticket.

 

CONTACT

Kevin D. Strang
Music Teacher
(321) 427­9800 kevin.strang@cfl.rr.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Kevin D. Strang​• (321) 427­9800 • kevinstrang@cfl.rr.com 

 

Kevin believes that over testing and their high­stakes consequences such as automatic 3rd grade retentions, teaching to the test, and tieing scores to teacher evaluations are doing tremendous damage to children, public schools, and the teaching profession. As a member of the OCPS School Board, Rick Roach was one of the first in the country to sound the alarms of high­stakes standardized test. It’s heartbreaking when a child is misdiagnosed by a flawed test and forced into a remedial class or worst, retained in their current grade when the opinion of the parent, principal, teacher, and guidance councilor are ignored. “I wish the politicians in Tallahassee could see the long, withdrawn, defeated faces of children during testing season.”, said Kevin.

 

As a former business owner and holder of a MBA from the prestigious Crummer School of Business at Rollins College, Strang believes that public education is a function of government and that a corporation is a terrible organizational structure to run a public school. Why? In a company profit is always the bottom line and the child will always be an expense, in a public school, the child is the bottom line. Charter Schools do not do a better job of educating students and are diverting precious funding away from public schools while enriching a few greedy entrepenuers succling at the public feed troth. How horrified parents must have been this year when a local charter school closed its doors and literally threw their students to the curb with only six weeks left in the school year. Charter schools fail at a higher rate than public schools yet this hasn’t stopped the state from opening more of them.

 

The last thing that music teacher Kevin Strang wants is to be involved with politics. Unfortunately, politics has encroached on his classroom and is preventing him and other teachers from teaching creatively. Strang commented, “Last year I appeared on the local news to point out the disrespect shown to teachers with the VAM evaluation model and gave away my ‘A’ school bonus money to the Network for Public Education to protest the absurdity of merit pay. Last summer I traveled to Washington DC to picket with 600 other teachers in front of the Federal Department of Education. What I have learned through these experiences is that politicians have been corrupted by corporate money and really don’t care what school teachers think. From now on I’m going to direct my frustrations in a way that will make a difference. When everyday people like me get involved and support candidates that shares my views I’m making a difference. To affect change, we must elect pro-­public school candidates.”