Toxic culture of education: Joshua Katz at TEDxUniversityofAkron

Joshua Katz is a high school math teacher in Orange County, FL.

Joshua’s Talk:
In the mid 1800’s, Horace Mann captured the potential impact of education on society. We have yet to realize the potential he saw, and in fact, we are missing the mark by a wider and wider margin. We have created a “Toxic Culture of Education” in our country that is damaging students, impacting our economy, and threatening our future. Since the passage of No Child Left Behind, we have embraced a culture of high stakes testing and are perpetuating a false sense of failure in our schools. We have ignored research and data on effective policy making practices in order to serve the interest of private industries that have monetized our students. The impact is being felt in communities, on college campuses, and in our economy. The solution lies in a common sense approach to student development, curriculum choice, career exploration, and relevant data analysis. This talk will present a vision of an education system that allows us to embrace our full potential if we only had the courage to ask “Why Not”?

About TEDx, x = independently organized event:

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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20 comments

  1. There is too much focus on getting good grades, whether in standardized tests or outside of them. It just stresses students and keeps focus away from learning critical thinking skills, life skills,…

  2. I dont agree with the fish climbing a tree analogy, yes a fish can’t climb a tree but we should be teaching the fish to think creatively and find unconventional approaches and that there’s more than one way to climb a tree.

  3. Watching this again a few years later, I’m glad that UC schools are moving away from SAT and ACT standardized testing in order to create a more fair evaluation of student potential irrespective of social and economic conditions.

  4. I passed Algebra 2 on the 5th try in community college. Till this day, that information has not been useful to me.

  5. My mom keeps telling that college is for dumbasses and universities are for the actual smart people who want to be successful. I’m only 12, mom. I’m not even in Junior College yet. Sometimes I just want to laugh at how much my mom expects from me.

  6. As a creative person, school literally made me sick. I got flu-like sickness every other week, and it stopped as soon as I left school.

  7. after 5th grade math i genuinely cannot see us applying it into the “real” world , i really dont get it

  8. it’s kinda funny how we have ideas and people out there calling out schools and there issues and them having a lot of money and power but mysteriously any attempt to fix it just disappears

  9. We just have a bunch of men who are stuck thinking that students are at the same generation, yet we can’t because we need to get a price of paper to be able to do anything.

  10. I listen to this, and I desperately want to think that things will change, at least not before I’m done with school. But with the current events and my mental health, I desperately worry about becoming a absolute failure

  11. i’m doing my homework right now, and it’s almost 2 am. i’m only in middle school, but online school is a nightmare. i hate how they tell you to get enough sleep but end up heaping on homework for days, with no mercy for your mental health. this isn’t all teachers but certainly one of my teachers is like this. i hate the corrupt education system.

    but i just want to say thank you for this speech. it’s really sad how badly the school system has gotten and how badly it’s handled corona, and you summed up everything the stuff i think about the education system very eloquently.

  12. lol, to the kid who blames “learning the recorder” in 3rd grade as the problem….. learning the recorder and taking only a couple of music classes in elementary taught a plethora of skillsets which are transferable to social intelligence, emotional intelligence, and excellence in a student being able to analyze the synthesis of problem solving through collaboration (over 91% of the most successful people have (even the smallest) backgrounds in music and arts ) ….. you’re mistaking the ENTIRE point of this video. STANDARDIZE TESTING THAT ROBBED STUDENTS OF ACTUAL EDUCATION BY THREATENING EDUCATORS’ EMPLOYMENT IF DIVERGING FROM PROFITING CURRICULUMS IS THE CULPRIT. not a piece off plastic that took up a few days of your life. Teaching to a Test with outdated merit, instead of educating and developing minds is the problem.

  13. they dont want smart, intelligent people — they want people with good grades, a perfect citizen.

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  16. Accountable to what/whom? Now it matters. STUDENT success is the priority, not business…what does a student do when his/her best/, and why? What or whom is the endgoal? People? Society? Or numbers…? Coming to a head, please leave a place to speak and offset. My heart is for the disenfranchised and poor made that way. PLEASE KEEP SPEAKING

  17. The hilarity of Amercians talking about the failures of capitalism yet being psychotically phobic of the word “socialism.” There’s a hole in your bucket, dear Liza….