Thompson: Why Do We Still Give Grades?
Then again -- and I know it would be a smaller number who agree with me on this -- I am also curious about the number of my peers who are dismayed that we still have letter grades.
Chris Couch's Huffington Post, Grades Do More Harm Than Good, condemns the damage done by grades. Crouch explains why he "can't believe that we realistically put any stock in what they measure and what they communicate."
Of course, he is correct on the harm done to educational values because "many kids feel pressured to cut corners, sacrifice ethics, and take easier courses, all in an effort to achieve better grades instead of better learning."
We still have grades because better options aren't available. But, we haven't tried very hard to develop better alternatives. On the contrary, schools have changed our priorities from learning to competition and keeping score.
As we continue this outmoded and reductionistic value system, we should remember that grades are inherently subjective results of political processes. We give them because it is our job to put some number and letter next to each student's name. We shouldn't delude ourselves into believing it is a fair or constructive process.
- JT (@drjohnthompson) Image via.