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Are Letter Grades Outdated?

In an effort to stay progressive, lots of private schools around the country have begun offering student alternatives to letter grades. That's all fine, but many parents (and students) still depend on these grades to evaluate their success. Assuming that grading is, in fact, an educational technology, is it time to update our system? Are grades still an effective way to convey information in this communication age?
A Collection By Jen Jeffers
  • 8 Collection Items
  • 8 Collection Items
  • Discussion
Are Letter Grades Outdated?
  • alfiekohn.org

    The Case Against Grades

    7 minute read
    Jen Jeffers says:
    This article is refreshingly about solutions rather than qualms. Let's not just discuss changes, let's make them! There are some very specific ways we can accomplish all the necessary elements of teaching without grades, so why not try? There is a myriad of useful thoughts here for anyone looking to get on board.
  • insidehighered.com

    Imagining College Without Grades

    6 minute read
    Jen Jeffers says:
    Even though the research and evidence regarding letter grades can be damning, there are still many people who advocate for their use in schools. While this article does not agree with those skeptics, it does illustrate the viewpoints of those who would like to keep the system as it is. Are grades really inevitable or are we in charge of our own educational destiny?
  • Jen Jeffers says:
    Before you can judge something, you must try to understand it. Grading is not different. The history of how grades developed in American culture is an interesting one. The earliest model of education which produced the likes of Thomas Jefferson always functioned on a pass/fail grading system with deep connections to the student/teacher relationship. The story of how our nation transitioned to a more impersonal system is a fascinating one and a great anecdote to share with students! Read on!
  • brilliant-insane.com

    7 Reasons Teachers Should Stop Grading Their Students Forever

    4 minute read
    Jen Jeffers says:
    For those who sense letter grades are a harmful rather than helpful measure, this article will affirm those feelings with solid evidence. Several excellent points are made here about why grades are problematic and often unfairly represent a young person's ability.
  • cnn.com

    Why some schools are ditching traditional report cards

    Jen Jeffers says:
    You will not find a bashing of letter grades here. Possibly the smartest way to approach this issue is to compromise…a letter grade can serve a purpose, especially if it is supported by conferencing and commentary. Because report cards are a permanent record, educators really need to think about how this assessment too can best serve the interest of a student's future.
  • linkedin.com

    Letter grades: The dinosaur that needs to go extinct

    5 minute read
    Jen Jeffers says:
    Before leading a discussion on letter grades (or even forming a personal opinion), it's important to consider why grades are given in the first place. We want parents and students to improve their learning strategies and their ability to meet academic goals. maybe letter grades are, in fact, needed to accomplish this feat. But perhaps under the guise of assessment we are really just offering a system of rewards and punishments that have little do with what students have actually learned.
  • neatoday.org

    Are Letter Grades Failing Our Students?

    4 minute read
    Jen Jeffers says:
    Grades are considered by some to be "relics from a less enlightened age,"and not only unnecessary but harmful. Does the learning become about the grade rather than the interest in learning itself? Many suggest conferencing with students and parents while offering an evaluating narrative is the best strategy. Whatever the answer may be, it's high time educators started examining the efficacy of this tradition.
  • etale.org

    Is the Letter Grade System an Outdated Educational Technology?

    4 minute read
    Jen Jeffers says:
    The question of whether schools are holding themselves back from fully pursuing best practices in education through grading is well explored here. The discussion around moving beyond letter grades is heating up but there's not an easy solution. There is various resistence to change among all involved in the process and considerable work to be done in order to make a meaningful shift.
BloomBoard SparkOther Cross-Curricular
BloomBoard Asks:With all the technological progress already made in this century, is this really still our best assessment option or just another glaring example of how education is living in the dark ages?