As we’ve often indicated on this website, including in the schools section, the US educational system is dragged down by major structural flaws. The extensive use of standardized testing may be the most obvious, but it is only one of several serious problems.
Thanks to prominent educator Alfie Kohn, we have a comprehensive look at what needs to be done to develop sound educational policy. Titled ‘It’s Time to Rethink Education Policy‘, Kohn’s essay lays bare the shallow, oversimplified, approaches that we’ve seen in recent decades.
Kohn ends by quoting the late Senator Paul Wellstone. As the destructive policies of ‘No Child Left Behind’ were being formed, he declared, “Making students accountable for test scores works well on a bumper sticker and it allows many politicians to look good by saying that they will not tolerate failure. But it represents a hollow promise. Far from improving education, high-stakes testing marks a major retreat from fairness, from accuracy, from quality, and from equity.”
Alfie Kohn’s essay is well worth reading!
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