The topic kind of says it all. Is it time that we start to move away from the antiquated grading system that was put in place before our grandparents were even born? This has been a topic that I cannot stop thinking about as I learn more about mastery based grading, moving away from zeros, and what it really means when a student receives a particular letter grade. It looks like some of the elite private schools in the nation are getting well ahead of this new idea. (Bay Area Private Schools Seek to Dump A-F Grading.) While I understand that their intentions might be different from many other academic institutions (picking a valedictorian when everyone is 4.0+) I think that their motives are in the right direction. Should we be looking at more of an integrated report card that includes soft skills and electronic links to student work; with real measures of proficiency and skills attainment? A report card that focuses on effort, growth, and achievement rather than a simple meaningless letter that doesn’t delineate areas of strength or improvement?
(Note that the article mentions that the grading system was designed 123 years ago; however there is evidence that the first reported letter grades were given at Harvard around 1883.)