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de-testing and de-grading schools

Authentic Alternatives to Accountability and Standardization

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Edited By Joe Bower and Paul L. Thomas

A century of education and education reform, along with more than three decades of high-stakes testing and accountability, reveals a disturbing paradox: education has a steadfast commitment to testing and grading. This commitment persists despite ample research, theory, and philosophy revealing the corrosive consequences of both testing and grading in an education system designed to support human agency and democratic principles. This revised edited volume brings together a collection of updated and new essays that confronts the failure of testing and grading. The book explores the historical failure of testing and grading; the theoretical and philosophical arguments against testing and grading; the negative influence of tests and grades on social justice, race, class, and gender; and the role that they play in perpetuating a deficit perspective of children. The chapters fall under two broad sections. Part I, Degrading Learning, Detesting Education: The Failure of High-Stake Accountability in Education, includes essays on the historical, theoretical, and philosophical arguments against testing and grading. Part II, De-Grading and De-Testing in a Time of High-Stakes Education Reform, presents practical experiments in de-testing and de-grading classrooms for authentic learning experiences.
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Author Biographies

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Lawrence Baines is associate dean of the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at The University of Oklahoma. His latest books are Teaching Challenging Texts and Project-Based Writing in Science.

Brian R. Beabout is the RosaMary Endowed Professor of School Effectiveness and Improvement at the University of New Orleans. His research focuses on charter schools, school-community engagement, and urban school leadership. His work has been published in The Journal of Thought, The Journal of Educational Change, The Journal of Education for Students Placed At-Risk, Multicultural Education, and The International Journal of Educational Reform. He is a founding board member of the Morris Jeff Community School in New Orleans and is an advisor to the National Coalition of Diverse Charter Schools.

David L. Bolton is an associate professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in research and testing from Florida State University and his M.S. in research and statistical methodology from Andrews University. His undergraduate degree is in Theology from Seminar Marienhoehe in Darmstadt, Germany. Dr. Bolton teaches educational assessment, as well as research and statistics. His areas of scholarly activity have focused upon the use of assessment and technology in education.

Joe Bower was a teacher in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. He spent 10 years teaching grade 8 language arts and science in a middle school, and 4 years teaching in a children’s psychiatric assessment unit. Joe returned to teaching language ← 299 | 300 → arts and social studies...

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