Independent Voices |

Independent Voices

Based upon what I have read, the standards-based grading system does (at least in theory) seem to provide a more complete picture of how a student is progressing in not only the major subject areas, but the individual skills that make up that subject.

The grading system being used needs to provide the student, parent and teacher a reliable and accurate way to evaluate comprehension of the subject matter.

No. Both the archaic “A-B-C-D-F” logic and the avant-garde “1-2-3-4” technique are designed to be impartial indicators of performance calculated to convey strength or weakness in a subject matter to both the parents and the student.

The only real difference is that everyone knows what the grades A-B-C-D-F represent. If it is our goal to improve the self-esteem of our most valuable natural resource, our kids, perhaps our concentration should be on improving grades rather than abolishing them.

Of concern in the new grading system is the time it will take teachers to be fair and consistent in grading. Letter grades can be recorded daily and an average easily computed. The new system will take more effort as teachers must evaluate each student and consider the student’s current activities, learning process, and potential.

It is a huge burden. If already overworked dedicated teachers are given sufficient time, it could be a good thing. Otherwise it will result in hasty evaluations that could be detrimental to the student.

As I have been a teacher for many years, I would support a system that can keep kids from falling behind. They would still need to achieve the work by the time required. I would hope that it can teach students that with enough effort, they can achieve anything.

I am in favor of allowing students to move on the the next skill when they are ready. This keeps the bright kids from getting bored and helps the kid who is more challenged from becoming hopelessly behind.

I am concerned that students may have difficulty transitioning to the traditional letter-based system later on in high school and college.

Great! I haven’t heard a more intelligent paradigm shift from the public school system. Letter grades are based on a false premise that competition motivates and creates a more intelligent population. Instead, it produces generations of citizens who cannot do sequential thinking: Hence, we can be told one thing by government leaders and see them doing something entirely different and be unable to connect the dots.

Hopefully with standards-based grading, students will graduate with a greater ability to think their way out of paper sacks.

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