Revised and Available: De-testing and De-grading Schools (Peter Lang USA, 2016)

Co-edited with Bower, J. (2016). De-testing and de-grading schools: Authentic alternatives to accountability and standardization. Revised ed. New York, NY: Peter Lang USA.

313058_cover RIP Joe

Book synopsis

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.

Contents: Rick Wormeli: An Unexamined Pedagogy Harms – Lisa Guisbond/Monty Neill/Bob Schaeffer: NCLB’s Lost Decade for Educational Progress: What Can We Learn from This Policy Failure? – Fernando F. Padró/ Michael F. Hawke/Laurie M. Hawke: Assessment and Quality: Policy-Steering and the Making of a Deus ex Machina – Anthony Cody: Technocratic Groupthink Inflates the Testing Bubble – Lawrence Baines/Rhonda Goolsby-Smith: America’s Obsessive-Assessment Disorder – Julie A. Gorlewski/David A. Gorlewski: Solidarity and Critical Dialogue: Interrupting the Degradation of Teacher Preparation – Morna McDermott: Feeding the World = Reading the World: Let Them Eat Tests – Richard Mora: Bubble in B for Boredom – Brian R. Beabout/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 – Christian Z. Goering: «How Long Does This Have to Be?»: Confronting the Standardization of Writing Instruction with Teachers in National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institutes – Joe Bower: Telling Time with a Broken Clock: Moving Beyond Standardized Testing – John L. Hoben: The Grading Mousetrap: Narcissism, Abjection, and the Politics of Self-Harm – Arnold Dodge/Ruth Powers Silverberg/Katie Zahedi: Leadership Denied: Principal as Compliance Officer – Hadley J. Ferguson: Journey into Ungrading – Jennifer Magee/Mark Dziedzic: An Oath to Stop Degrading Students: A Story of De-grading an Elementary Classroom – P. L. Thomas: De-grading Writing Instruction: Closing the «Considerable Gap» – Brian Rhode: One Week, Many Thoughts – Lisa William-White: Striving Toward Authentic Teaching for Social Justice: Additional Considerations – P. L. Thomas: Yes, to Be Clear, I Am Anti-testing, Anti-grading.

3 thoughts on “Revised and Available: De-testing and De-grading Schools (Peter Lang USA, 2016)”

  1. Thanks for letting me know that this is out now. I do not need any convincing that children in our schools are better off when grades and tests are eliminated from the curriculum. Thank you for the research and examples that I can now refer to, and refer others to.

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