Grade Inflation Sources

Grade Inflation Sources ARE GRADES ACTUALLY GOING UP?   College — Clifford Adelman, “A’s Aren’t That Easy,” New York Times, May 17, 1995, p. A19 – describes a five-year study of “the records of 21,000 students from more than 3,000 universities, community colleges, and trade schools” that found “grades actually declined slightly in the last two decades.”  Original source:  The New College Course … Read More

Practical Strategies to Save Our Schools

Practical Strategies to Save Our Schools Whenever something in the schools is amiss, it makes sense to work on two tracks at once: protect students from the worst effects in the short term and work to change or eliminate that policy in the long term. Let’s begin with some short-term responses where testing is concerned: First, teachers should do what … Read More

Florida’s A+ Plus Plan for Education

After Gulf Gate Elementary School in Florida received an “A” in the Florida school grading system, six teachers and the principal decided to return to the governor the amount of bonus money they would have received. Here is the position paper they submitted to explain why. Florida’s A+ Plus Plan for Education: The Misuse of the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test and … Read More

Whom We Admit, What We Deny

INDEPENDENT SCHOOL Winter 2012 Whom We Admit, What We Deny The Meaning of Selective Admissions By Alfie Kohn                                                      “Send us winners and we’ll make winners out of them.”                                                                                                             — James Moffett What does it mean when a school, having rejected a child who applied for admission, explains that he or she just “isn’t a good fit” (or “match”) … Read More

Schooling Beyond Measure (##)

EDUCATION WEEK September 19, 2012 Schooling Beyond Measure By Alfie Kohn [This is a slightly expanded version of the published article.] As we tend to value the results of education for their measurableness, so we tend to undervalue and at last ignore those results which are too intrinsically valuable to be measured. — Edmond G. A. Holmes, chief inspector of … Read More

Are Fewer Young People Reading for Pleasure?

November 2007 Are Fewer Young People Reading for Pleasure? By Alfie Kohn Several years ago, a teacher who regularly invited her students to “drop everything and read” their favorite books was asked by a colleague whether she was still setting aside class time for that purpose. She replied, “We haven’t been doing any reading since we started preparing the kids … Read More

Gleanings #2: Fresh Writings on the Achievement Gap

September 2007 Gleanings #2 Fresh Writings on the Achievement Gap By Alfie Kohn Almost as much as one yearns for a solution to the achievement gap, one searches for a fresh way of thinking about this problem. Most of what’s published seems awfully familiar by now, so it’s worth celebrating the exceptions. In this installment of the occasional feature called … Read More

The Trouble with Rubrics (#)

ENGLISH JOURNAL March 2006 — vol. 95, no. 4 The Trouble with Rubrics By Alfie Kohn Once upon a time I vaguely thought of assessment in dichotomous terms:  The old approach, which consisted mostly of letter grades, was crude and uninformative, while the new approach, which included things like portfolios and rubrics, was detailed and authentic.  Only much later did … Read More

The (Progressive) Schools Our Children Deserve

SCHOOLS: Studies in Education Fall 2005 The (Progressive) Schools Our Children Deserve By Alfie Kohn [This is a transcript of the keynote address for a conference on progressive education sponsored by the School in Rose Valley and held at Swarthmore College on October 7, 2004.] I’m delighted to be with what I will presumptuously assume is a friendly crowd, such … Read More

State-Mandated Testing: Why We Opt Out

EDUCATION WEEK March 12, 2003 State-Mandated Testing: Why We Opt Out When it comes to testing mandates, we exercise our rights as parents to protect our children from activities not in their interests. By Catherine Ross Hamel & Fred L. Hamel When district- or state-mandated testing comes around in our children’s public schools, we opt out. We inform our kids’ … Read More