Education’s Rotten Apples (**)

EDUCATION WEEK September 18, 2002 Education's Rotten Apples By Alfie Kohn Like other people, educators often hold theories about how the world works, or how one ought to act, that are never named, never checked for accuracy, never even consciously recognized. One of the most popular of these theories is a very appealing blend of pragmatism and relativism that might ... Read More

Standardized Testing: Separating Wheat Children from Chaff Children

2002 Standardized Testing Separating Wheat Children from Chaff Children  Excerpted from the foreword to Susan Ohanian's book What Happened to Recess and Why Are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten? (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002) By Alfie Kohn Of all the chasms that separate one world from another, none is greater than the gap between the people who make policy and the people who ... Read More

Fighting the Toxic Status Quo

ENGLISH EDUCATION January 2002 “Fighting the Toxic Status Quo” Alfie Kohn on Standardized Tests and Teacher Education By Deborah Appleman and Micheal J. Thompson Q.: What motivates the movement for teacher testing? It sometimes seems as if it arises from a basic mistrust of teachers. ALFIE KOHN: Well, I think we're living through a very dark period in American education where testing ... Read More

Two Cheers for an End to the SAT (**)

THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION March 9, 2001 Two Cheers for an End to the SAT By Alfie Kohn One imagines the folks at the College Board blushing deeply when, a few years back, they announced that the "A" in SAT no longer stood for "Aptitude." Scarlet, after all, would be an appropriate color to turn while, in effect, conceding ... Read More

Education’s Different Drummer

WASHINGTON POST January 9, 2001 Education's Different Drummer Alfie Kohn Is Marching Against Standardized Learning, and He Has Gained a Nationwide Following By Jay Mathews Washington Post Staff Writer One day in 1967, a sweet-faced, bespectacled fifth-grader at Leroy D. Fienberg Elementary School in Miami Beach was given a class assignment. No one remembers what it was about, which is ... Read More

Sell Schools, Not Test Scores

REALTOR MAGAZINE January 2000 Sell Schools, Not Test Scores By Alfie Kohn Everyone knows that buyers are attracted to neighborhoods with good schools.  But not everyone has had occasion to think about what makes schools good.   That’s why many realtors continue to assume – falsely – that high test scores are a positive sign. To begin with, test scores closely parallel the ... Read More

Turning the Tables

BOSTON GLOBE November 14, 1999 Turning the tables: What if students and parents designed a test for the Board of Education? By Tim Wise With the release last week of the latest scores on the MCAS tests, or Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, we are once again being bombarded with warnings about "failing schools." The stakes are high; these statewide standardized ... Read More

On Teaching Reading, Spelling, and Related Subjects

Excerpts from The Schools Our Children Deserve (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999) On Teaching Reading, Spelling, and Related Subjects Half Truths About Whole Language By Alfie Kohn “Kids aren’t learning how to read these days because ivory-tower ideologues have eliminated the teaching of necessary basic skills in favor of feel-good, PC fads like Whole Language.  We’d do a lot better if we ... Read More

Confusing Harder With Better (**)

EDUCATION WEEK September 15, 1999 Confusing Harder With Better By Alfie Kohn Never underestimate the power of a catchy slogan and a false dichotomy. When a politician pronounces himself a supporter of "law and order" or "a strong defense," you may protest that it's not that simple, but even as you start to explain why, you've already been dismissed as ... Read More

Why Students Lose When Tougher Standards Win: A Conversation with Alfie Kohn

EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP September 1999 Why Students Lose When Tougher Standards Win A Conversation with Alfie Kohn If students are to help design their own learning experiences and if teachers are to be free to develop a curriculum on the basis of their students' needs, schools must buck the "Tougher Standards" movement, author Alfie Kohn says. John O'Neil and Carol Tell ... Read More