Alfie Kohn Literature Review

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Since the implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), schools and society have taken a different perspective on how to assess the student‘s progress. Schools are forced to make decisions based on assessments and how to show adequate yearly progress (AYP). Alfie Kohn points out that, in some cases, our students have become victims of standardize testing. In his article, Standardized Testing and Its Victims (2000), he demonstrates how testing have become detrimental to our students instead of helping them. He outlines these detrimental issues with eight facts.

Standardized testing has gotten out of control and has become more of a detriment to our students. Students are being forced to follow a curriculum that prepares them for only major tests and leaves out vital instruction for things such as social skills. Kohn (2000) tells us with fact 1, that our students are being tested more than any other nation. Is this testing providing prominent information to our schools or is it just for show? Not only is the United States over testing our students but we are the only nation that uses a multiple-choice format for our tests. Research from the in 2008 ranked the United States 18 out of 38 industrial nations based on the quality of that Nations educational system. If testing is suppose to be helping our students, should we not be ranked higher?

Kohn (2000) describes his second fact as noninstructional factors that explain variances among test scores when compared with other schools. This information was based on the poverty level, family life, educational backgrounds in the house, and community. Testing is not the same across the nation. There are schools that can provide a richer curriculum and test preparatio...

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...with the excuses and stop looking to blame someone and find a solution to our students’ failures and build from there. Congress needs to reevaluate the NCLB act and find alternative possibilities to our struggling educational systems. We need to look at assessments and take into account all things that our students do instead of examining only one set of assessments to determine if progress is being made.

Works Cited

Kohn, Alfie. (2000). Standardized Testing and Its Victims Retrieved from:

Kohn, Alfie. (2004). The Case Against “Tougher Standards” Retrieved from:

UPI.Com (2008, November 18). U.S. Slipping in Education Rankings. Retrieved August 7, 2010, from
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