Alfie Kohn: Testing is a scourge of education

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This reference is used to annotate "I would never send my kids to school" (2017) by Piotr Wozniak

Problem with testing

Alfie Kohn noticed years ago that good teachers dislike testing. They know, or intuitively sense, the harm of standardized testing and cramming for tests. However, as we go up the hierarchy to principals, administrators, board members, legislators, and ministers, the love of accountability via testing tends to increase. Perhaps this is why Bill Gates is wrong about education? After all, he mostly rubs shoulders with people high up in the hierarchy?

In my Grand Education Reform, I insist we should increase freedoms in education across the board. Kohn has a pragmatic suggestion applicable to all systems, and all system participants: one of your primary obligations is to be a buffer – to absorb as much pressure as possible from those above you without passing it on to those below.

In his half-a-page manifesto, Kohn provides a concise statement on the toxic impact of "higher" standards in education:

A plague has been unleashed in the name of improving schools. Invoking such terms as “tougher standards,” “accountability,” and “raising the bar,” people with little understanding of how children learn have imposed a heavy-handed, top-down, test-driven version of school reform that is lowering the quality of education. It has taken some educators and parents a while to realize that the rhetoric of “standards” is turning schools into giant test-prep centers, effectively closing off intellectual inquiry and undermining enthusiasm for learning (and teaching)

See also


Quoted excerpts come from the following reference:

Title: Rescuing Our Schools from “Tougher Standards”

Author: Alfie Kohn


Backlink: Standardized testing