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Education professor wins award for essay collection

paul thomas book cover, sizedDe-Testing and De-Grading Schools, a collection of essays co-edited by Furman University Education Professor Paul Thomas, Ph.D., has been named an Outstanding Academic 2014 title by Choice magazine.

Each January, Choice publishes a prestigious list of the best in scholarly titles reviewed during the previous calendar year. Thomas’ book was chosen based on overall excellence in presentation and scholarship, importance relative to other literature in the field, distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form, originality or uniqueness of treatment, value to undergraduate students and importance in building undergraduate library collections.

De-Testing and De-Grading Schools: Authentic Alternatives to Accountability and Standardization is Thomas’ 15th book. It was co-edited by Canadian educator Joe Bower and published by Peter Lang USA.

A.L. Hsu, chair of the Childhood Education and Literacy Department at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury, described the book as a “must-read for anyone in the field of education.”

“Bower and Thomas have edited a powerful volume that criticizes testing and the quantification of education. A selection of contributors with wide-ranging experiences in both K-12 and higher education offer diverse perspectives on the dangers of standardized testing and the utilization of grades to sort, classify and compare students,” says Hsu.

With the increasing number of state assessments and the elaborate systems of accountability in education, this volume inspires readers to focus on the primary goal of learning and how that can be achieved, beginning in kindergarten and going all the way through graduate school studies,” adds Hsu.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries is the premier source for reviews of academic books and digital resources of interest to scholars and students in higher education. It is a publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association.

Before joining the Furman faculty in 2002, Thomas taught high school English in rural South Carolina. He earned undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in education from the University of South Carolina.

He is a column editor for the English Journal, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English, and series editor for Critical Literacy Teaching Series: Challenging Authors and Genres (Sense Publishers), in which he authored the first volume—Challenging Genres: Comics and Graphic Novels. He has written commentaries for the Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, Education Week, The State, and The Greenville News.

Read Thomas’ blog here, and visit the publisher’s book site at For further information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at (864) 294-3107.

Last updated February 28, 2015
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director