Monday, June 12, 2017

Why giving grades destroys education--Aleteia

Standardized testing and education--Aleteia:

Why giving grades destroys education

Kids deserve better than to have their education turned into a contest.

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 chool’s out for summer, which means I can finally be honest about something that’s been bugging me all year long: grades.

Grades are terrible for children. They’re terrible for all children, whether they struggle in math like my oldest or they excel in spelling like my youngest. They’re terrible for a million reasons, but the primary one is because they turn education into a contest.
Scary Mommy had a post up recently that expressed the unease around grading that’s beginning to circulate among parents. Author Meredith Ethington, herself a former honor roll student, said:
“It’s not that I don’t care about the grade. I do. But I think sometimes the emphasis we are putting on our kids getting straight A’s is setting them up for lofty expectations that just aren’t realistic for some kids. Not everyone excels in all areas. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Not everyone is meant to be an honor roll student. I firmly believe that.”
This is true, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Grades are an utterly terrible way to monitor what a child has or hasn’t learned. I get that they’re convenient and simple, but like all convenient and simple things, they cause more harm than good.
Grades measure performance. Like standardized tests, grades reflect how well a student was able to perform — on tests, mostly, but also projects, homework, even class conversation.
What they don’t measure is how much a student understands. In high school, I spent countless afternoons in private tutoring for trig and pre-calculus. I did not care about those subjects — I used (and still use) my Standardized testing and education--Aleteia:

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