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Thomas publishes new book on education

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Furman University education professor Paul Thomas has published his 15th book, De-Testing and De-Grading Schools.

The book, a collection of essays co-edited by Thomas and Canadian educator Joe Bower and published by Peter Lang USA, looks at a century of education and education reform along with the last three decades of high-stakes testing and accountability to show the failure of testing and grading.

“Education has a steadfast commitment to testing and grading despite decades of research, theory, and philosophy that reveal the corrosive consequences of both testing and grading within an education system designed to support human agency and democratic principles,” says Thomas.

The volume offers practical and detailed examinations of ways to teach and learn free of the weight of testing and grading. The book explores the theoretical and philosophical arguments against testing and grading; the negative influence of testing and grading on social justice, race, class, and gender; and the role of testing and grading in perpetuating a deficit perspective of children, learning, race, and class.

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 more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.

Last updated February 17, 2016
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director