Education system should distance itself from grades

March 5, 2019 | The Pitt News

From the very start of their educations, kids are led to believe that some of them are good at learning and some of them are bad at learning.

Years in school repeatedly reaffirm this rhetoric, and learning rapidly devolves into a competition that has winners and losers. In the American school system, all students are not created equal, and we’re reminded of it every single day.

The purpose behind grades is to determine how much a student has learned. The caveat is that a number or letter can’t effectively do this — it’s nearly impossible to quantify learning objectively. Most schools simply test memorization and recitation, which are not substantial indicators of understanding. I believe in educative structure. I believe in academic integrity. But I also believe that somewhere, we went wrong. We, as a society, need to reevaluate our current system of grading in order to institute something more just and constructive.

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