Alfie Kohn: The real cheating in APS and other schools is little meaningful learning

Education author and lecturer Alfie Kohn believes that we have yet to address the real cheating scandal going on in Atlanta schools and many others around the country.

“The real cheating scandal that has been going on for years is that kids are being cheated out of meaningful learning by focusing on test scores,” said Kohn, author of 12 books on education and parenting, including “The Homework Myth” and “Unconditional Parenting.”

“Standardized tests like the CRCT measure what matters least. The more you know about education, the less likely you would ever be to measure teachers, schools or kids based on test scores,” said Kohn.

“Focusing on the CRCT as a matter of policy writes off low-income kids of color by turning their classrooms into sterile test-prep centers.”

An influential voice in what is known as “progressive education,” Kohn expounds on these themes with equal amounts indignation and passion in his new book “Feel-Bad Education.”

In a telephone interview this week, Kohn said accountability and testing are crushing the spirit of  teachers and students. Rather than nourishing children’s excitement about learning and helping them to be good people, school now acclimates them to years of mind-numbing chores and drills.

With “vinegary moralism,” Kohn said we stamp out children’s natural inquisitiveness and degrade school from an adventure in learning to a daily grind of prefabricated lessons, worksheets, letter grades and bubble tests. The aim is not to promote thinking or the joy of discovery, but to raise test scores.

Yet, the research shows that students learn more, that “richer thinking is more likely to occur in an atmosphere of exuberant discovery, in the kind of place where kids plunge into their projects and can’t wait to pick up where they left off yesterday,” said Kohn.

Kohn spares no schools in his critique, saying that publics, charters and privates have fallen under the spell of a corporate culture that wants to reduce children to test scores and that prizes efficiency over exploration.

Now, we even measure reading by assigning books and turning on timers to ensure that children put in their 20 minutes a night.

The widespread embrace of off-the-shelf reading programs that award students points based on how well they perform on computer quizzes “are the most efficient way to teach kids that reading isn’t pleasurable in its own right,” he says.

Kohn has special disdain for schools that place children in uniforms and straight lines and hold pep rallies where kids shout, “Yes, we can!” In many schools, poor urban kids are being told, “Their job is to shut up and listen. They are bribed or threatened into mindless obedience.”

“That so few children seem to take pleasure from what they’re doing on a given weekday morning, that the default emotional state in classrooms seems to alternate between anxiety and boredom, doesn’t even alarm us,’’ he said.

Complaints from teachers about the ever-tightening straitjacket on what they can teach and how they can teach are being marginalized, Kohn said.

So, the talented teachers are fleeing the classroom. “It’s the mediocre  teachers who are happy reading from a script. This drives out the creative teachers,” Kohn said.

“We don’t say anything as obvious as ‘Don’t listen to the people teaching our children,’’’ he said. “We’re told it’s their unions that we shouldn’t listen to. That’s become the most expedient way to discredit their profession.”

Kohn blames former President George Bush and President Barack Obama, along with Bill Gates and corporate America, for creating a compliance-driven, test-fixated education system under a mantra of global competitiveness and accountability.

“Competitiveness and excellence are not the same thing,” he said.

Kohn opposes the national standards movement, which will only lead to national testing and more wreckage, he says. He contends that teachers ought to decide which curriculum is best for their schools rather than a remote committee of strangers.

Kohn maintains that schools communicate whether they are centers of learning or factories of compliance in big and small ways.
He finds a troubling subscript in all the chirpy hallway posters that proclaim “I know I’m smart,” or “Achievement is within your grasp,” noting that such affirmations are seldom found in suburban schools where no one needs to be reminded of the potential of students.

Kohn would prefer to see posters that dare students to “Question authority,”  or “Think for yourself; The teacher might be wrong.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled

138 comments Add your comment

For the students

April 8th, 2011
11:42 am

Enter your comments here

EducationCEO

April 8th, 2011
11:44 am

I wish I could afford private school for my kids. Why should we even care about the CRCT unless we don’t have goals and aspirations for our kids leaving the state and exploring the other things that are out there? Some days it’s just too much…

For the students

April 8th, 2011
11:49 am

Well this is unique. Someone who has decided to critique how educators are running our schools. All that is being offered here is another easy complaint and a solution of allowing teachers to decide what to teach. We have gone through this before with teachers teaching the same content year after year. Education is a profession and professionals have standards that they follow. There is a common assumption that bad teaching means better test scores and testing results in bad teaching. Neither one of these is true. Standards and assessment isn’t a solution. They are a basic framework that all education needs to begin reform. Lets stop complaining about the standards and the tests and start educating our children.

Cobb Teacher 2

April 8th, 2011
12:16 pm

Alfie Kohn is the biggest POS liberal out there. What he says has no bearing whatsoever on anything I would ever do in my classroom. Everything he has ever written is anarchy. Kohn is always complaining about poor minorities. I have serious doubts he has ever really worked with these children. If he did, he would see that they have the ability to do just fine in school, and on state tests.

While I am greatly distressed about the amount of time spent on testing and test prep, I can also say that every year I have given the CRCT I have thought it was a fair test of what kids should know. My only complaint would be the length of the math portion for first and second grades. Those tests won’t be given in Cobb this year due to budget cuts.

Testing has and always will be a part of education. It does need to be put back in its proper place, but eliminating it and allowing teachers to do whatever they please in their classrooms will lead to disaster. Standards are a must in the classroom.

Ben

April 8th, 2011
12:22 pm

Trying to apply a business model in the schools and it has failed. The end result of business and politicians is that learning is no longer fun. Trying to turn a human being into a widget. How stupid are politicians and business leaders? The upside is that now kids can graduate because they can pass a test but know nothing else.

Paulo977

April 8th, 2011
12:27 pm

THANK YOU MAUREEN FOR POSTING THIS !!!!
Unfortunately there are many who have uninformed ‘opinions ‘ about what education is all about . The unfortunate part is that the president appears tohave forgotten what he talked about testing on his campaign and has taken up where Bush left off in the debilitating RACE TO THE TOP!!

Burroughston Broch

April 8th, 2011
12:28 pm

A dismal effort to divert public attention from the APS’ many unresolved problems. What else is new?

Roach

April 8th, 2011
12:32 pm

Sorry, I don’t remember school as ever being fun, nor ever being eager to pick up the next day where I left off. Between anxiety and boredom . . . yep, that about summed it up, and that was long before the testing craze..As stupid as test worship and reading timers are, I don’t think you can blame them for the tedium of school. Within what fantasyland did the author attend school?

www.honeyfern.org

April 8th, 2011
12:34 pm

Just blogged about Kohn’s 10 common sense ideas for schools: http://honeyfern.ning.com/profiles/blogs/alfie-kohn-how-do-i-love-thee?xg_source=activity

He is spot-on; we are cheating our kids of the power and beauty of learning, and it is endemic in all iterations of school. Even homeschoolers who pull their kids out of school need a de-institutionalization period; it is easy to be sucked into a focus on test scores and grades. I found this to be true this year when I started HoneyFern, but we are working through it and finding our balance.

@EducationCEO, come on over to HoneyFern. We are 6-12, in the process of accreditation and more affordable than your standard private school.

Corey

April 8th, 2011
12:39 pm

Standardized tests should be used to determine a child’s strengths and weaknesses and help them improve where needed. Final exams are a different story.

Dr. John Trotter

April 8th, 2011
12:44 pm

Thinking MACE’s thoughts after MACE, heh? Ha! We have been saying this for 16 years now. In the maiden article written in The Teacher’s Advocate! magazine in 1995 (For Kids’ Sake, Let Teachers Teach!), we eviscerated this whole corporate, “data-driven,” top-down, heavy-handed culture which has just about wiped out all creativity and inquisitiveness in our public schools. At the end of this rather long article in this inaugural publication, I made 15 recommendations. Recommendation Number Two, for example, was the following: “Quell the test mania that has whipped the school systems into a frenzy (for fear that their test scores will look bad in the media). Eliminate much of the standardized testing.”

Nah, we haven’t been Johnny-Come-Latelys when it comes to railing against this sterile, plastic, and artificial “educational” environment. In fact, in Georgia, we were the first group to speak out boldly against this educational insanity. And like most prophets, we were metaphorically stoned and dismissed as being “crazy.” Well, if the norm is the crap that is being pawned off as “education,” then I gladly accept the appellation of being “crazy.” Ha!

You can find the aforementioned article in Issue One of The Teacher’s Advocate! magazine in 1995 which is located in our Archives sections of the MACE website.

http://www.theteachersadvocate.com

I am happy that others are seeing the futility of trying to “educate” kids by this test-driven hocus pocus. (c) MACE, April 8, 2011.

Tad Jackson

April 8th, 2011
12:44 pm

Cobb Teacher 2 … Well said. Yes, testing will always be a part of school and education. If the tests are fair … good. So pupils, get used to it … prepare … and good luck!

EducationCEO … I think I know what you’re saying … or believing about private schools. That the environment is more intimate … demanding but fair … that the teachers are more creative and personable because they’re allowed to be. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, of course, but hopefully I’m close to what you perceive to be the benefits of a private school.

My whole teaching career has been spent in a private school, but I was educated in some public schools in south Corn Cobb County and I’m grateful for it … and in some incredible Atlanta-area private schools, too.

Anyhow, my point is this … I decided to do something about what we might think a well-rounded education looks like: I started a unique tutoring service yesterday. Among the typical areas are four I’m extremely excited about teaching/tutoring to the kids of parents who are like-minded …

1. Why we go to school. Why we need to be educated
2. How to be a good student. Not a straight-A student, but how to be a well-rounded student
3. Understanding the different styles and personalities of teachers
4. Why people become teachers
5. Social skills, manners, and leadership skills for your age group

In other words, important stuff that’s not in the ol’ curriculum, but needs to be. What needs to be explained because it’s not. By a few parents, sure, and thank you for that.

Wish me well, friends, and my victims! Just trying to extend the reach of the classroom to kids who might think I’m cool by explaining the real mysteries of school and teachers and why we have schools and why we dang gotta go! At the bargain price of $50 an hour! Or dinner instead!

http://www.adixiediary.com

Aquagirl

April 8th, 2011
12:48 pm

Humans crave learning. It took millions of years of evolution to produce a brain with a main purpose of innovation and acquiring new ideas. Spending an afternoon with any normal child (”put that down, come here, I don’t know why the sky is blue”) makes that obvious.

Our schools have achieved incredible success in killing this instinct. That’s quite an achievement. Too bad it’s in the negative category.

Tony

April 8th, 2011
12:57 pm

A couple of points made by Kohn are especially important and must be incorporated into our classrooms.

1. Engaging learning activities. There is no doubt in my mind that students who are engaged in worthwhile learning activities will learn much more than those students working on practice problems, skills based worksheets, and other rote learning devices. One of the aspects of American culture that has always set us apart from the rest of the world is our ability to raise up creative adults. These adults know how to solve problems, design new products, or develop better machinery. We are missing that opportunity as we continue to focus more and more on non-relevant CRCT (or other state test) items.

2. Excellent teachers (those who get consistent and high results) have a great disdain for mediocrity. Being forced into a canned program for “teaching” is a sure way to bring mediocrity to the classroom. Continuous test prep is even worse than mediocrity.

So what’s it going to be? The president says too much testing is boring our students (he’s right, by the way), yet his secretary of Education continues to push for more and “better” assessments.

Maureen – I think it’s time for you and your fellow education writers to push for answers from politicians, foundations, and others who push for more of this junk in our schools even when research is clearly indicating their ideas are wrong. Gates, Broad, Walton, and others are financing their own brands of education reform and wreaking havoc in many school systems.

Laurie

April 8th, 2011
1:07 pm

Dr. John Trotter wrote: “Thinking MACE’s thoughts after MACE, heh? Ha! We have been saying this for 16 years now. ”

Alfie Kohn is no Johnny-come-lately either. No Contest was published in 1992, and The Case Against Standardized Testing in 2000. Perhaps you are Leibniz and he is Newton. [smile]

Dr. John Trotter

April 8th, 2011
1:11 pm

Michelle Rhee, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, Eli Broad, the Walton Foundation, Beverly Hall, Edmond Heatley, Mark Elgart, et al., are all operating on wrong theories about how schools perform or should perform. Elgart’s theory is wrong about how school boards should operate. He is dismissive of the democratic process and apparently thinks that school board members should sit around holding hands and singing nursery rhymes. Gates and Walton apparently think that educating a child is the same as selling a software package or selling a plumber’s belt. Duncan and Rhee think that you can scare everyone into success. Broad pretty much believes the same, and acolytes like Hall and Heatley have bought into this mess at the greater enhancement of their wallets.

Dr. John Trotter

April 8th, 2011
1:13 pm

No, Laurie, I have been railing against this insanity way before we started MACE in 1995. I was operating on the assumption that Maureen was putting forth a recent article. I am sorry if I was misinformed. I was misinformed once before in, I believe, 1972. Ha! Thank, Laurie.

Laurie

April 8th, 2011
1:14 pm

To the Alfie Kohn fans (I am an ambivalent follower of his writings): better brace yourself for the storm. On a blog where most posters vigorously applaud the police’s pepper-spraying a SECOND GRADER for, among other things, showing “verbal” disrespect, just think what they’ll say about Afie Kohn. Oh my goodness…

Mel

April 8th, 2011
1:19 pm

I am further away from Alfie Kohn on the political spectrum, but I agree. Testing has become the dominant focus, instead of teaching and learning. If those two things are done the right way, then the results on the tests will happen. My 3rd grader and soon-to-be kindergardener love school. But I have already seen the excitement dwindle with the 8-year old. I don’t expect school to always be fun – but in her case it’s because she doesn’t have to work hard enough and is given busy work instead of enrichment work when she’s finished an assignment. LET KIDS EXPLORE AND HAVE FUN. Learning by trial and error and through experimenting is what teaches us our best lessons – in school and life.

@Dr. John Trotter

April 8th, 2011
1:20 pm

The phone conversation she quotes is apparently recent (as is his latest book), in the same way your posts on this blog are recent, but like your views in general, his views are not of recent vintage at all. I do understand that it’s frustrating to shout something into the wind for years when it seems no one is listening, but your side not close to winning here, and you should take support where ever you find it (even if it is Johnny-come-latelies, which, as I said, Kohn is decidedly not).

Tonya C.

April 8th, 2011
1:23 pm

@Laurie:

Just an FYI…the 2nd grader didn’t get sprayed for showing ‘verbal’ disrepect’. He threatened to stab his teacher.

Dr. Trotter:
Education has now become a business. And I am starting to wonder to if the horse is too far out of the gate to ever be put back in.

MM

April 8th, 2011
1:24 pm

Is Kohn kidding with this stuff? => “richer thinking is more likely to occur in an atmosphere of exuberant discovery, in the kind of place where kids plunge into their projects and can’t wait to pick up where they left off yesterday.” “Exhuberant discovery” may happen with individual students but it’s unrealistic to expect this with a student body at large as Kohn implies. Improving education modestly over time may be possible but Kohn is pure hyperbole. Blowing this kind of vacuous sunshine only serves to confuse an already tangled situation (and maybe make his career and sell a few books).

Education seems to be in a state of cyclic failure: a decade ago students were said to be not learning so we set requirements and imposed objective testing. Now that’s said to be not working so Kohn proposes that we go full circle to a non-testing environment of fuzzy, uncertain requirements. Around and around and nothing really changes. Nothing is solved because we don’t understand the problems of our educational process, much less what we can do to change it.

Meanwhile the messages students get from their parents, the media, and society at large do not change => focus on a steady paycheck and on having fun. We are raised to be consumers and not thoughtful citizens. Life is about much more than but Americans understand this less than many other cultures. American culture is so dumbed down (from dysfunctional media, religion, politics) that any rational discussion on any issue is practically impossible. The megaproblem is the backgound cultural messaging and not our educational system. We seem condemned to cycles of fruitless debate as one generation after another becomes worn out on all the talk that goes nowhere.

Dr. John Trotter

April 8th, 2011
1:33 pm

@ “@Dr. John Trotter”: I meant no disrespect for Mr. Kohn. I don’t know him, and I certainly accept your assertion that he too has been railing against the stupidity of the culture of standardized testing and the accompanying narrowing of the curricula in our public schools for years. It is not a matter of “winning.” Heck, we “win” each day when teachers tell us how much they appreciate us supporting them and empowering them. This is “win” enough for us! I know that I share Mr. Kohn’s concerns for over-testing and narrowing of the curricula as well as less creativity; I don’t know much about any of his other theories of schooling.

Maureen Downey

April 8th, 2011
1:34 pm

@Dr. Trotter, Talked to him this week about his new book.
Maureen

Holden5865

April 8th, 2011
1:38 pm

Testing should not be the only criteria and assessment for students and teachers. However, when you apply for a license at the DMV, Bar Association, Dept. of Financial Services, Dept. of Education, and many other professional organizations they require that you pass the test. Children have to take tests to get into college. Electricians and auto mechanics have to pass tests to work on the wiring in your house or repair your car. Life has exams!

Dr. John Trotter

April 8th, 2011
1:38 pm

Maureen: I may go to B. Dalton’s within the week to get a copy, if it is already out in the bookstores.

Maureen Downey

April 8th, 2011
1:38 pm

@MM, I see bits and pieces of Kohn’s philosophy applied in schools. I will say that my children would love the classrooms that he envisions, as would most children. I also think that the notion that school is not something “done to children, but something they do” makes sense. I think it would take a remarkable change in how we design and run schools.
If anyone has read about the Blue Men school in New York, I get the sense that this is the exact kind of school that Kohn would admire. And I would love to see schools adopt more of those creative practices.
Maureen

Maureen Downey

April 8th, 2011
1:39 pm

@Dr. Trotter, If you are picketing any schools in my area, I can lend you my copy.
Maureen

Kelly S

April 8th, 2011
1:52 pm

“Focusing on the CRCT as a matter of policy writes off low-income kids of color by turning their classrooms into sterile test-prep centers.”

I feel that this statement is racist and disrespectful to low-income/minority families. Is he trying to say that low-income/minority kids are dumb and do not have the abilities to pass these standardized tests?

I am not saying CRCT is the answer. What I am saying is that we need some ability to measure learning and make sure kids are learning and teachers are teaching. And maybe instead of claiming CRCT “writes off low-income kids of color” we should instead focus on why this phenomenon is happening. Get to the root of the problem and put programs and policies in place to help with this.

Is it a lack of parent involvement? Is it a lack of growing up in a home without a father? Is it due to living in areas of high crime? Is it because of high rates of teenage pregnancies? Does coming from a family that either lacks or does not value higher education make a difference?

There is a reason low-income kids of color do not score as high on standardized testing and I refuse to believe claims that they are simply just not smart enough. Doing away the CRCT to accommodate these kids will only hurt their already precarious futures.

Georgia Coach

April 8th, 2011
1:55 pm

MACE, separating low performers from their money since 1995. Maureen, please don’t harm your reputation by being seen near a Trotter picket.

No, I am not jealous and no, I was never a member of this group of low performers.

Georgia Coach

April 8th, 2011
1:56 pm

MACE-separating low performers from their money since 1995. Maureen, please do not harm your reputation by being seen near a Trotter picket.

Dr. John Trotter

April 8th, 2011
1:59 pm

@ Maureen: So the book is already out, I presume. I appreciate the offer, but I’ll pick me up a copy. Then, I can mark all in the book! Ha! I don’t always go to the pickets myself, but I did attend two pickets (Renaissance Middle in Fulton and Washington High in Atlanta) a couple of weeks ago. They were good ones and had the desired effects. At one picket recently in which I did not participate (at Briar Vista Elementary in DeKalb), Mr. Haynes told me that an elderly gentleman whose house was across the street from the school came out and began inquiring about the picket. Of course, our guys are very closed-lips on the picket line. But, this gentleman told Norreese that he had taught 38 years in the Atlanta Public Schools! Mr. Haynes replied: “Then you must know Dr. Trotter.” Norreese got a kick out of this man’s response: “Know Dr. Trotter? They all know Dr. Trotter, and the principals get shivers down their spine when they hear his name!” True story. I must admit that this stroked my ego. Ha!

Georgia Coach

April 8th, 2011
1:59 pm

This author makes many valid points

Georgia Coach

April 8th, 2011
2:00 pm

Ego- it is a dangerous thing, John

Clueless

April 8th, 2011
2:04 pm

If they’re learning what they ought to learn, the CRCT ought to be a piece of cake.

Georgia Coach

April 8th, 2011
2:05 pm

Maureen, Please don’t become a shill for this man.

DK

April 8th, 2011
2:08 pm

If the schools were truly doing their jobs, the CRCT would be a non-issue. Most children would pass it without any preparation whatsoever. That the schools need to spend weeks focusing on that test shows how poorly they are doing their jobs. The test is revealing the problem, not causing it.

Dr. John Trotter

April 8th, 2011
2:18 pm

Coach: We all have an ego, and this is beautiful. It is only when people (politicians, educrats, et al.) don’t acknowledge this is when real trouble comes. How can you be an effective teacher if you don’t recognize that each child has an ego that needs to be feed? It is those people with under-nourished egos who commit most of the heinous crimes. The well-fed and healthy ego doesn’t need to do the heinous stuff. I used to have my classrooms organized in way that each kid’s ego was fed. I remember this big football player (and smart kid) who had made First Team All State in football at Jonesboro High School and was about to attend Perdue on a football scholarship asking me if I remembered when he was Sheriff of Johnson County in the eighth grade. Johnson County was one of the rows in one of my Georgia History classrooms. He’s over 40 now and is, like many of my former students, on my FaceBook. The kid who was elected by my Georgia History students as the U. S. Senator over all of my classes graduated from West Point and is about to retire from the U. S. Army. This Army Colonel is on my FaceBook also and wrote to me recently about going into teaching when he retires next year. Wow…this made me feel good and old! Ha!

Egos…ah, Coach, they are great! We all have one. Maslow, Rodgers, Lewin, and all of the great ones understood this. But, it’s the plastic educrats who don’t seem to understand this.

Dr. John Trotter

April 8th, 2011
2:19 pm

Coach: I see that you like to use that word “shill” under most of your monikers. Ha! It’s a good word. I use it occasionally.

Dr. John Trotter

April 8th, 2011
2:20 pm

Sorry for the typo(s). “…nees to be fed [not feed].”

ssteacher

April 8th, 2011
2:22 pm

@clueless – the issue is who decides what kids “ought to learn”? Will we have education or indoctrination?

Georgia Coach

April 8th, 2011
2:23 pm

Maureen is drinking your koolaid John, because she has blocked my standard questions for you that you refuse to answer.

Dr NO

April 8th, 2011
2:26 pm

Roach

April 8th, 2011
12:32 pm

Agreed. Further, its kinda like when people at work, superiors, make the statement “we are gonna work and have a lot of fun.”. HUH!!??

Work is work, fun is fun and the two do not intersect. My thoughts anyway. Now perhaps if ones job were being a highly paid vandal, rock musician etc, but still just the thought of “having” to do something and it being ones job might take the “fun” out of it.

Just food for thought from a wise middle aged sage… ;)

Cheating!

April 8th, 2011
2:30 pm

People of color are being cheated most by the system—which is racist by focusing on test scores that African-Americans don’t do well on. The system should not force people of color to take these tests, since they are racially biased. African-Americans should sue to prevent these tests from being given.

Dr. John Trotter

April 8th, 2011
2:31 pm

http://theteachersadvocate.com/id45.html

Coach: You always want to know (though you are well aware) what MACE does for the teacher who pays membership fees of $40.00 per month. I posted a link for you above that details MACE’s services. Coach, are you sure that you aren’t a “shill” for MACE…because your softball “attacks” are so sophomoric. Ha!

Dr NO

April 8th, 2011
2:34 pm

On another note…

“Proposal to let Deal remove Atlanta school board could face lawsuit”

From AJC…seems 3 democratic state reps are ready to launch a lawsuit if Deal is given power to remove the board members, etc. Good…keep the current board in and let the current board continue in its failing ways. Of course later these same kids will be attending a prison near you but its more important not to violate the “voting rights” act and keep in the current incompetents.

If this wasnt so sad it would be funny or vice versa…whichever.

Another view

April 8th, 2011
2:37 pm

Fascinating responses to your interview with Kohn. I am deeply saddened that so many purported teachers posting here seem to believe the factory model is de rigueur. My other half, fortunate at the end of her career to be teaching gifted and AP after her share of everything else at every income level, with four star teacher and a presidential scholar awards under her belt, would say the reason her UGA, Tech, Harvard, MIT, Northwestern, etc, etc, etc bound students persistently put her on that pedestal is because she DOES provide the joyous experience Kohn advocates. But she’s lucky, because as @DK so naively wished all kids ought be, hers are far above the drivel of our worthless minimum competency tests that create the living hell for the bottom third of our students that ensures they HATE learning. He or she obviously has not the remotest clue what schools or students – or tests and the testing mania – are like. Nor has he/she any understanding of the nature of intelligence or the economic and social realities of our rapidly declining society. AND, worse, seems to represent that majority of which I’ve spoken before: Barnum was wrong – you CAN fool most of the people most of the time. Go read some, DK – I presume you can, even though you obviously choose not to do so.

Dr NO

April 8th, 2011
2:42 pm

My main concern is about Alfie Kohn is the last name…Kohn as in Con-Artist. Im afraid, my friends, you all have been once again snookered.

East Cobb Parent

April 8th, 2011
2:43 pm

Dr. John Trotter, how true you are in regards to Mark Elgart. It makes one question the need of SACS accreditation.

www.honeyfern.org

April 8th, 2011
2:50 pm

Bravo, AnotherView. Kohn’s ideas can translate into the classroom, even the large classroom, and yes, even with lower SES students.