The Accidental Education Benefits of COVID-19

Opinion

—Aynklo for Education Week

How we can end testing and grading for good, not just during the pandemic

By

Alfie Kohn

You know you really should walk or bike more often, but the car is just so darned convenient. Then one day it breaks down, and the replacement part won’t be available for quite a while. The fates have conspired to get you some much-needed exercise while also reducing your carbon footprint. But what happens when the repair can finally be made? Will this serendipitous car-free interlude become a permanent change, or will you once again be driving everywhere?

Here’s the analogous choice that educators will soon face: Amid all the awfulness, the pandemic has yielded a few accidental benefits, including the suspension of state exams, college-admissions tests, and conventional grading. But will we cement these changes into place for the long haul?

That outcome is far from certain

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