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From Degrading to De-Grading

From Degrading to De-Grading

This article was written by Alfie Kohn and included here with the author’s permission. Download File You can tell a lot about a teacher’s values and personality just by asking how he or she feels about giving grades. Some defend the practice, claiming that grades are necessary to ”motivate” students. Many of these teachers actually […]

Standardized Testing and Its Victims

Standardized Testing and Its Victims

Standardized testing has swelled and mutated, like a creature in one of those old horror movies, to the point that it now threatens to swallow our schools whole. (Of course, on “The Late, Late Show,” no one ever insists that the monster is really doing us a favor by making its victims more “accountable.”) But […]

Is Learning “Lost” When Kids Are Out of School?

Is Learning “Lost” When Kids Are Out of School?

Anguish and even anger are entirely appropriate reactions to the fact that Covid-19 infection rates are still too high in most areas to permit the safe reopening of schools. Not only do many of our kids miss their friends and the chance to make new ones, but school attendance is a prerequisite for millions of parents to go to work. Also, schools provide healthy meals, which matters in a country with appalling levels of poverty and hunger.

The Back-to-School-Night Speech

s this working? [taps microphone] I do believe it is! OK, if everyone can please find a seat, we’d like to get started. Thanks so much for coming out tonight! We’ve reserved plenty of time for discussion obviously I’m not going to talk at you all evening, just as our teachers don’t spend most of […]

Well, “Duh” 10 Obvious Truths That We Shouldn’t Be Ignoring

his essay is an abridged version of the introduction to Feel-Bad Education … And Other Contrarian Essays on Children and Schooling (Beacon Press, 2011) The field of education bubbles over with controversies. It’s not unusual for intelligent people of good will to disagree passionately about what should happen in schools. But there are certain precepts […]