Paul Tough, author of “How Children Succeed,” talks to Express-News

As mentioned in an earlier post, Paul Tough’s recent book, “How Children Succeed”, talks about how we can help our kids to grow not by stuffing their heads with knowledge but by letting them fail and learn how to deal with it.

Tough visited San Antonio last month and sat down for an interview with the San Antonio Express-News. Here’s his take on standardized testing:

The way that accountability has happened in Texas and the country as a whole over the past 20 years – there were good reasons for it, there are some good things that have come out of it – but I think the way it has become so narrowly focused on these standardized tests, which only measure these cognitive skills, is a real problem. . . . Those skills are not as predictive as we thought they were of long-term success.

What we should care about in any education system is kids graduating from college. There are other outcomes we could choose, but in terms of educational outcome, that’s a pretty good one. So the fact that eighth-grade test scores don’t necessarily correlate with college graduation rates, especially for low-income kids, I think is a real problem.

“Optimism, self-control are keys to child’s success, author says”, Michelle Koidin Jaffee, San Antonio Express-News, October 30, 2012.

On the same trip, Tough appeared at an October 24 KIPP:Houston event with KIPP co-founder David Levin; the video is online.

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