Authentic Alternatives to Accountability and Standardization
Edited By Joe Bower and Paul L. Thomas
Conclusion: Yes, to Be Clear, I Am Anti-testing, Anti-grading
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Yes, to Be Clear, I Am Anti-testing, Anti-grading
P. L. THOMAS
Since the early to mid-1990s, I have actively practiced and preached de-testing and de-grading as an educator. So, to be clear and not as some ploy to be provocative or to slip into hyperbole, I am solidly anti-testing as well as anti-grading.
That stance is based on a very simple point of logic: Tests and grades have been central to formal education for over a century, and the stakes of those tests and grades have dramatically increased over the last three decades; yet, virtually no one is satisfied with our system or so-called student achievement. In the colloquial parlance of my South, political leaders and the public simply cannot admit that weighing a pig doesn’t make it fatter.
However, virtually every time I speak publicly, write a public piece, or am interviewed by the media about testing and grades, I come against something like this from Jordan Shapiro (2015):
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