References and Resources

References and Resources The “five fatal flaws” of the Tougher Standards movement are adapted from Alfie Kohn’s book THE SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE, from which a shorter book called THE CASE AGAINST STANDARDIZED TESTING has been spun off. You may also be interested in a list of his essays about standards and testing. Other resources: Books about testing by various writers: — Daniel … Read More

Coalition for Authentic Reform in Education (CARE)

Coalition for Authentic Reform in Education (CARE) A CALL FOR AN AUTHENTIC STATE-WIDE ASSESSMENT SYSTEM   Education Reform in Massachusetts began with high hopes. As educators, parents, and citizens, we believe those hopes have been eroded by the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests. These tests have disrupted our classrooms and schools and diverted valuable resources away from efforts that … 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

The Case Against “Tougher Standards”

The Case Against “Tougher Standards” By Alfie Kohn People who talk about educational “standards” use the term in different ways. Sometimes they’re referring to guidelines for teaching, the implication being that we should change the nature of instruction — a horizontal shift, if you will. (In the case of the standards drafted by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics … 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

Falls Church School Won’t Teach to the Test

Washington Post Tuesday, October 12, 2004; Page B01 Falls Church School Won’t Teach to the Test By Marc Fisher Teachers grumble and moan about how politicians’ love affair with tests has turned education into a grim mission to teach creative young minds how to darken the ovals completely and neatly. Parents complain about the lost arts and athletics, the exciting … 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

Teacher Won’t Administer CSAP Tests

DENVER POST Jan. 27, 2001 Teacher Won’t Administer CSAP Tests By Percy Ednalino Jan. 27, 2001 – A middle-school teacher in Greeley said Friday that herefuses to administer the Colorado Student Assessment Program tests to his students because they clash with his beliefs as an educator. This is the first time a teacher has refused to administer the tests, officials … 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