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Are Grades Utterly Useless?

Center for Teaching Quality

CTQ blogger and teacher Bill Ferriter states, "Our gymnasts are fighting through bruises to master new tumbling routines. Our fishermen are learning which baits work in which waters. Our gamers are experimenting with a dozen new strategies for taking on new levels in their favorite games. But that kind of self-reflection and evaluation happens almost exclusively BEYOND school. Grades mask the real and tangible progress that students -- particularly those who struggle -- ARE making."

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  • Yong Ra

    If we don't use grades, then what else will we use? Yeah, I get that a load of folks are all "rah rah!" about getting rid of 'useless' greats and switching over to detailed and personal feedback, but you can't objectively compare that kind of feedback.

    Not to mention, it's kinda ridiculous to expect a teacher to provide custom feedback to each one of his 130+ students when in all honesty, only 10 of them (and maybe a single parent) will ever read them and take the feedback to heart. As a high school teacher, I already spend a ton of time on just schoolwork, lesson planning, grading, etc. I don't have the time nor the capacity to provide specialized feedback to each and every one of my students. If not grades, then what can we use?

    • Center for Teaching Quality

      Yong, You ask a very good question! Teachers do already spend so much time providing feedback. If you had more time or smaller class sizes, do you think you would still want to give grades? Do they serve a necessary purpose?