Author of The Case Against Standardized Testing and other books
Con to the question "Is the Use of Standardized Tests Improving Education in America?"
"...You deprive kids of recess, eliminate music and the arts, cut back the class meetings and discussions of current events, offer less time to read books for pleasure, squeeze out the field trips and interdisciplinary projects and high-quality electives, spend enough time teaching test-taking tricks, and, you bet, it’s possible to raise [test] scores. But that result is meaningless at best. When a school or district reports better test results this year than last, knowledgeable parents and other observers respond by saying, 'So what?' (because higher test scores do not necessarily reflect higher quality teaching and learning) – or even, 'Uh oh' (because higher test scores may indicate lower quality teaching and learning).
And once you realize that the tests are unreliable indicators of quality, then what possible reason would there be to subject kids – usually African American and Latino kids – to those mind-numbing, spirit-killing, regimented instructional programs that were designed principally to raise test scores? If your only argument in favor of such a program is that it improves results on deeply flawed tests, you haven’t offered any real argument at all."
"Standardized Testing: Separating Wheat Children from Chaff Children," AlfieKohn.org, 2002
Experts Individuals with PhDs, heads of government, members of federal legislative bodies, and individuals with graduate degrees and significant post-graduate involvement in fields relevant to the study of education. [Note: Experts definition varies by site.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Author of 12 books on education, parenting, and human behavior
Articles published in the Journal of Education, Ladies Home Journal, the Nation, Harvard Business Review, Atlantic Monthly, Phi Delta Kappan, Parents, Psychology Today, and other publications
Keynote speaker and workshop facilitator for teachers and administrators
Appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC's Today, and other TV and radio programs
Profiled in the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times