Communication Center  Conference  Projects Share  Reports from the Field Resources  Library  LSC Project Websites  NSF Program Notes
 How to Use this site    Contact us  LSC-Net: Local Systemic Change Network
Educational Reform & Policy

Systemic Reform

Math Reform

Science Reform

Technology Integration


International Focus and TIMSS


Assessment and Accountability

School Culture

Public Engagement

Professional Development

Teaching and Learning

LSC Papers and Reports



Why Students Lose When 'Tougher Standards' Win

author: John O'Neil, Carol Tell
description: In this interview, published in the September 1999 issue of "Educational Leadership," Alfie Kohn sharply criticizes the "Tougher Standards" movement. Kohn argues that most "tough" content standards reward memorization by students and promote uniformity among learning and teaching styles. We include this quote from Kohn to illustrate his main contentions:

"If traditionalists are right that our schools are in trouble, it's hard to argue that progressive practices are responsible if those practices are actually quite rare. In fact, the argument is turned on its head. If students aren't achieving the way we'd like, if they lack a disposition to learn, it may be precisely because schools continue to be so traditional. Indeed, that's exactly what the latest international mathematics comparisons suggest: Our kids are at a comparative disadvantage because the 'back to basics' folks have won."

URL link:
published in: Educational Leadership (ASCD)
published: 09/01/1999
posted to site: 11/12/1999