Education is rapidly changing. Letter grades have been a tradition in the education system for as long as I can remember, and they were accepted as a fair and objective way to measure the success of our students. From elementary school all the way through higher education, a numerical grading scale is the norm. But, this is all about to change. Some states are starting to change the way they measure students’ achievements. This is because letter grades and point-based grading undermines learning and creativity. Here at Verge Pipe Media, we encourage creativity and originality, so we are all for the change of letter grades.
Not only does a letter grading scale demoralize learning and creativity, but it also rewards cheating, encourages students to avoid challenging work, and teaches students to value their grade over knowledge. If a student receives a ‘C’, what does this letter represent? Does this mean they comprehend the material enough to move on to the next level or grade? Many questions arise for teachers when they are grading their students. What does the mark really symbolize? Should the mark be based upon ability or performance, or even upon eagerness and enthusiasm? What is the best set of symbols to represent ability or achievement?
In the early days of education, teachers used all sorts of distinctions in order to evaluate and differentiate students for the convenience of the teacher and the institution. Yale University was the first school to use a system for evaluating achievement, a system that we are all familiar with today. But, recently, a few schools have recognized the many drawbacks to points-based letter grades and have moved to a more informative and logical approach to evaluating students’ learning. This type of grading is known as standards-based grading. It is a system of evaluation that is informative, meaning it shapes instruction in order to fill knowledge gaps, and measure mastery based on set of course objectives, standards or skills.
With a shift from points-based grades to standard-based grading, the goal of the classroom is no longer points or grades, but mastery of the subject. This type of grading is great for all sorts of students and sets them up for a successful future. At Verge Pipe Media, we love to see people take on and overcome a challenge and we promote creativity. We think this change in a grading scale will help our children and students become future leaders.