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Renowned Educator, Author Alfie Kohn Challenges Tougher Standards, FCAT; Public Invited to Free Event at FGCU
3/21/2003

FORT MYERS, FL - Parents, teachers and school administrators are invited to hear a free lecture about challenging the FCAT and other tougher standards by nationally renowned educator and author Alfie Kohn at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Alico Arena.

The heart of the keynote address “The Deadly Effects of ‘Tougher Standards’: Challenging the FCAT” will center on standards and testing.

Described by Time magazine as “perhaps the country’s most outspoken critic of education’s fixation on grades [and] test scores,” Kohn’s work has influenced the thinking of educators, parents and managers across the country and abroad.

Kohn’s books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, German, Swedish, Dutch, Portuguese, Hebrew and Italian, and regularly, he has been a guest on television and radio shows including the “Today” program and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” He was recently profiled in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times as a leading expert in the field of education.

The free lecture is the first in the Distinguished Educator speaker series at FGCU sponsored by the College of Education.

“Kohn’s tremendous impact on the heated debate about standards and testing as evidenced by the FCAT in Florida makes him an excellent choice to launch the Distinguished Educator series at Florida Gulf Coast University,” dean of the FGCU College of Education Larry Byrnes said.

Kohn says that the more people learn about standardized testing the more people are appalled and more inclined to protect children from the monster in schools. He claims that there are far more meaningful measures of student learning, that standardized testing is most damaging to low income and minority students, and that high scores often signify superficial thinking.

Kohn has published several books including “PUNISHED BY REWARDS: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes” (1993/1999), “NO CONTEST: The Case Against Competition” (1986/1992), and “THE SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and ‘Tougher Standards’ ” (1999).

More recently, he authored “The Case Against Standardized Testing: Raising the Scores, Ruining the Schools” (2000).

Kohn has also contributed to the Journal of Education, Harvard Business Review, Atlantic Monthly, Parents and Psychology Today.

Educated at Brown University and the University of Chicago, Kohn is a former teacher who now works extensively with educators across the country and speaks regularly at national conferences. He lives in Belmont, Mass., with his wife and two children.

For more information, contact Byrnes at (239) 590-7822.


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