Paragraphs to Ponder—Educator’s Edition

My grades are due December 23rd. Maybe you have grades due soon too or someone close to you. From The End of Average by Todd Rose. Recommended.

“There are two related problems with relying on grades for measuring performance. The first, and most important, is they are one-dimensional. The jaggedness principle, of course, tells us that any one-dimensional ranking cannot give an accurate picture of an individual’s true ability, skill, or talent—or as psychologist Thomas R. Guskey wrote. . . ‘If someone proposed combing measures of height, weight, diet, and exercise into a single number or mark to represent a person’s physical condition, we would consider it laughable. . . Yet every day, teachers combine aspects of students’ achievement, attitude, responsibility, effort, and behavior into a single grade that’s recorded on a report card and no one questions it.’

The other problem posed by grades is that they require employers to perform a complex interpretation of what a particular graduate’s diploma actually means. A transcript gives employers very little direct knowledge of a student’s skills, abilities, or master of a topic. All they have to go on is the rank of a university and the graduate’s GPA.”

Back in the day, when my colleagues and I submitted hard copies of our grades to the Registrar, she provided large candy bars as an incentive to be on time. Damn the Digital Age.

3 thoughts on “Paragraphs to Ponder—Educator’s Edition

  1. I’ve always had a problem with the grading system used by schools. So anachronistic! It always seemed unfair to me, since after working with children for several months, I always had difficulty in having to boil it down to numerical values. There is so much more to a person’s (and child’s) ability than the assessment offered by traditional methods.

  2. Perhaps someone needs to devise a sliding scale method using the various factors of achievement, attitude, responsibility, effort, and behavior to score a students’s paper, or even a final semester grade.

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