ERIC Number: ED117193
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Continuing Controversy over Grades. TM Report 51.
Warren, Jonathan R.
Although grades have been criticized for lack of reliability, end-of course grades and grade-point averages are reliable enough for most uses. The charge of unreliability applies only to grades on themes, tests, or other individual pieces of student work. On the other side of the controversy, grades have been said to be essential to the learning process because they provide for the evaluation of student performance. But performance is evaluated and its results reported to students independently of any grading system. The justification for grades must lie elsewhere. The critical issue in grading is the validity and usefulness of grades for the variety of purposes they are called on to serve--conveying information on student achievement, providing incentives for students to study, serving as selection criteria, providing material for administrative records, helping in the evaluation and monitoring of the instructional process, and assisting students in educational and occupational planning. Until better information is available on the effectiveness of grades with respect to these various functions, the continued trading of unsupported assertions about them will be fruitless. New approaches to grading, such as contract and criterion-referenced grading, do not change the basic issues. (Author/RC)
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Criteria, Grade Inflation, Grades (Scholastic), Grading, Higher Education, Performance Contracts, Reliability, Student Evaluation, Validity
ERIC Clearinghouse on Tests, Measurement, and Evaluation, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N.J. 08540 (free while supplies last)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Tests, Measurement, and Evaluation, Princeton, NJ.