This book has won the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award 2014.
A century of education and education reform along with the last three decades of high-stakes testing and accountability reveals a disturbing paradox: Education has a steadfast commitment to testing and grading despite decades of research, theory, and philosophy that reveal the corrosive consequences of both testing and grading within an education system designed to support human agency and democratic principles.
This edited volume brings together a collection of essays that confronts the failure of testing and grading and then offers practical and detailed examinations of implementing at the macro and micro levels of education teaching and learning free of the weight 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 testing and grading on social justice, race, class, and gender; and the role of testing and grading in perpetuating a deficit perspective of children, learning, race, and class.
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.
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2013. 282 pp.
Contents: Alfie Kohn: Introduction: The Roots of Grades-and-Tests – Lisa Guisbond/Monty Neill/Bob Schaeffer: NCLB’s Lost Decade
for Educational Progress: What Can We Learn from This Policy Failure? – Fernando F. Padró: High-Stakes Testing Assessment:
The Deus ex Machina of Quality in Education – Anthony Cody: Technocratic Groupthink Inflates the Testing Bubble – Lawrence
Baines/Rhonda Goolsby: Mean Scores in a Mean World – Julie A. Gorlewski/David A. Gorlewski: De-grading Literacy: How New York
State Tests Knowledge, Culture, and Critical Thinking – Morna McDermott: The Corporate Model of Schooling: How High Stakes
Testing Dehumanizes Education – Richard Mora: Standardized Testing and Boredom at an Urban Middle School – Brian R. Beabout
and Andre M. Perry: Reconciling Student Outcomes and Community Self-Reliance in Modern School Reform Contexts – David L. Bolton/John
M. Elmore: The Role of Assessment in Empowering/Disempowering Students in the Critical Pedagogy Classroom – Alfie Kohn: The
Case Against Grades – Joe Bower: Reduced to Numbers: From Concealing to Revealing Learning – John Hoben: Outside the Wounding
Machine: Grading and the Motive for Metaphor – Peter DeWitt: No Testing Week: Focusing on Creativity in the Classroom – Hadley
J. Ferguson: Journey into Ungrading – Jim Webber/Maja Wilson: Moving Beyond «Parents Just Want to Know the Grade!» – P. L.
Thomas: De-grading Writing Instruction in a Time of High-Stakes Testing: The Power of Feedback in Workshop – Brian Rhode:
One Week, Many Thoughts – Lisa William-White: Conclusion: Striving toward Authentic Teaching for Social Justice.