ERIC Number: ED181071
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974
Shall We Get Rid of Grades?
Ebel, Robert L.
NCME Measurement in Education, v5 n4 p1-5 Fall 1974
An analysis of criticism leveled against student grading is presented, and a rebuttal is offered. Twenty-two criticisms of grades are divided into four categories; that grades are meaningless, unimportant, unnecessary, and harmful. In response to the criticism, it is pointed out that grading tends to motivate student achievement, provides rewards for effort, and offers periodic information to parents and others on pupil progress. Criticism is noted to be generated mainly by teachers and administrators, rather than by parents and students. Two alternatives to grading which are frequently suggested by critics are detailed written reports about student achievement and problems, and parent-teacher conferences. In defending grading against the criticisms, it is pointed out that (1) grading can be improved; (2) some of the criticisms are unreasonable or based on improper contrasts; (3) their symbolic value does not make them meaningless; (4) poor grades are the result, not the cause, of student failure or success; and (5) grades are not the only evaluative technique used to assess student progress or achievement. (MH)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council on Measurement in Education, East Lansing, MI.
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