Debunking the Case for National Standards

This article will make educators think about what is going on in their schools.  Of course, they will recognize and probably agree with the article……..But the real question is…What can educators do about this?????If you are a teacher in the elementary grades, this article is truly worth reading.

  • tags: standards


      January 14, 2010

      Debunking the Case for National Standards

      One-Size-Fits-All Mandates and Their Dangers

      By Alfie Kohn

      [This is a slightly expanded version of the article published in
      Education Week’s annual “Quality Counts” issue.]

    • I keep thinking it can’t get much worse, and then it does.  Throughout the 1990s, one state after another adopted prescriptive education standards enforced by frequent standardized testing, often of the high-stakes variety.  A top-down, get-tough movement to impose “accountability”– driven more by political than educational considerations – began to squeeze the life out of classrooms, doing the most damage in the poorest areas.
    • To politicians, corporate CEOs, or companies that produce standardized tests, this prescription may seem to make sense.  (Notice that this is exactly the cast of characters leading the initiative for national standards.)  But if you spend your days with real kids in real classrooms, you’re more likely to find yourself wondering how much longer those kids — and the institution of public education — can survive this accountability fad.

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