Take away the averages and change unit to learning objective and it works for me. I think we have become demagogues when it comes to grading – everyone pokes holes in the current system but few have a good answer. We have a difficult challenge on our hands – how do we measure student learning and teacher effectiveness? As long as leaders in our society demand that we shift responsibility for learning from student and parents to teachers, we will continue to debate what is fair and equitable. In the meantime, the debate is about what can teachers do to somehow get students to learn when many choose not to do so. Through out grading altogether, give students and parents choices about what and how deeply they learn, and give meaningful reports about what concepts have been learned is all that is necessary. Telling a student he got an A in 3rd grade math, a B in 4th grade math, and a C in 5th grade math doesn’t tell the student, parents, or perspective colleges and employers anything. Yet as screwed up as we are, if I say a student achieved a 6th grade education in mathematics in his 12 years of public education, it has some meaning and we get a descent idea of the students capabilities.
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