Top 5 bad trends in education in 2013

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In an honest attempt to flesh out the positives in American education, I recently wrote this post on the 5 good things in education in 2013. In the interest of fairness, it seems appropriate to point out the negative side.

Here are 5 bad trends in education from 2013

  1. Grades. I’ve promised myself that 2014 will be the year that I do everything possible to help eliminate traditional grading in American education. Arguably the largest barrier to effective teaching and learning, grades do nothing more than punish students.
  2. Teacher accountability. Although the government wants accountability through test scores and bizarre principal rubrics, teachers are accountable primarily to kids.
  3. More high stakes testing. The Common Core purportedly adds depth to learning. I’m not sure about that, but I know it nearly doubles the amount of tests students will take. 
  4. Ongoing fear of mobile learning. While many schools are moving to iPads and some are embracing Bring Your Own Device policies, far too many schools are still forcing students to leave their mobile devices in lockers. We need all schools to put the most powerful learning tool we have in our students’ hands. 
  5. Homework. I’ve said it hundreds of times, and the research bears me out: homework does not help kids learn! Still, I find that honework is a major teaching method nationwide, and it has to stop.
What bad trend makes your top 5?
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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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