How We Waste Time at School

“We are being sold a bill of goods when in comes to talking about tougher standards for our schools. The standards movement is pushing teachers and students to focus on memorizing information, then regurgitating facts for high test scores. The shift is away from teaching students to be thinkers who can make sense of what they’re learning.”

Alfie KohnThe Case Against Standardized Testing (2000)

Excerpted from: Howe, Randy, ed. The Quotable Teacher. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2003.

3 responses to “How We Waste Time at School

  1. As a career-dedicated, veteran teacher I’ve always been personally insulted (intentionally humiliated?) by the assumption that educators are endlessly in need of outside forces which might push “standards” upon them, as if they would surely never have them otherwise.


  2. I worked inside an inner-city school system for twenty years, watching how they used “reform” as an excuse to write, rewrite and forever change the standards — over and over and over. They then hired an always churning crew of “evaluators” to come in and make a fuss every time we didn’t know what next new thing had suddenly been put into place. I tried to write about that in my book, calling the whole thing “Whack-A-Mole” management 🙂 .


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