Poor Teaching For Poor Children Essay

855 Words 4 Pages
Alfie Kohn, the author of “Poor Teaching for Poor Children…In the Name of School Reform,” is also the author of many other books regarding education and human behavior. His article, published in Education Week magazine, discusses his belief that standardized tests justify sub-par teaching methods and that they are counter-productive in closing the education gap between urban and middle-class students. Although no reader will disagree that poor children should suffer sub-par teaching, certain parts of Kohn’s argument are weak because he used biased language, misrepresents opposing viewpoints, and fails to support some claims.
No one wants inequality in schools, so when Kohn claims that poor children aren’t being taught well, he effectively appeals to our values. He cites a study that shows “a researcher at Michigan State University, discovered that students in more affluent neighborhoods were given more choice in their reading, more opportunities to talk with one another about books, the chance to analyze and write poetry and to learn skills in the context of real literature” (Kohn 34). These are all things most parents would want for their children, and they would likely think it’s unfair to deny some children choices that improve learning. Most parents would also agree that all children should be taught effectively. Kohn quotes Deborah Stipek, dean of Stanford’s School of Education, who asks ““why use a strategy to help poor kids catch up that didn’t help middle class kids…

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