Our current grading system can be a way for kids to prove themselves, win college scholarships, or gain admission to highly select colleges. This can turn into a game that encourages the comparison of fictional “averages”.
Some say that the whole system of grading is focused on ranking and sorting rather than helping students learn. And it turns out, it’s by design. Much of the campaign to standardize the grading system was based on the work of psychologists in the 1800s who saw the goal of finding more students than average, focusing on teaching rather than helping all students. , Author of “Intelligence and Education” and “The End of Average.”
“Humans are like patterns, and patterns can’t be sorted,” says Rose.
Which raises the question: is there a better way to measure academic achievement?
On this week’s AdSerge podcast, we explore how we got into today’s grading system and we imagine a world where letter grades don’t have that much power. And I share my personal obsession with grades as a student आणि and request a copy of my own college admissions file to try to figure out how important all my grade-pursuits are to my own academic path.
This episode is part of our ongoing Bootstraps series, exploring America’s longest tradition of awarding “quality” prizes to determine which students have access to the “best” educational opportunities. We are co-producing a series of non-profit journalism open campuses.