Test Critic's Belated Victory

K-12 Testing
In 2001, in the midst of an intense battle over whether Massachusetts would implement its proposed high-stakes graduation test, the state Department of Education pressured an independent group to withdraw a speaking invitation from Alfie Kohn, a noted author and assessment reform advocate. Kohn and several others sued in state court, with support from the American Civil Liberties Union, charging that their first amendment rights were violated.


State judge Hiller Zobel ruled in Kohn's favor, writing, "A person in Mr. Kohn's position has a right to be heard without government interference and people in the position of the other plaintiffs have a right to hear him."


In a statement, Kohn said, "Just as the MCAS interferes with meaningful learning, so does the Department of Education try to interfere with free ideas about education." He also noted that "sometimes justice delayed is only justice delayed" - the graduation requirement is in effect, damaging children's lives and narrowing curriculum and instruction.


o For more information, see http://www.alfiekohn.org/index.html.