Is it time to retire letter grades?

The COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely disruptive to schooling, hindering instruction and different providers for 1000’s — maybe thousands and thousands — of Okay-12 college students throughout the United States. But those that see the glass as half full would say it has additionally offered colleges with a singular alternative for change.

Count Michael Horn amongst these optimists. In his podcast sequence “Class Disrupted,” Horn — an creator and advisor who focuses on the way forward for schooling — has teamed up with Diane Tavenner, co-founder and CEO of the Summit Public Schools constitution community, to debate how the sudden shift to distant studying this previous spring uncovered the restrictions of many academic constructions we take without any consideration. Yet, it additionally suggests what could be attainable if Okay-12 leaders are daring sufficient to see a brand new approach ahead, Horn and Tavenner agree.

For occasion, a number of the time wasted in transitioning from one class to a different throughout a conventional faculty day might be reclaimed for learning and practicing essential life skills, they are saying. The factory-style mannequin that herds college students in teams from class to class might be changed by a extra personalized, student-centered approach that caters to every youngster’s distinctive pursuits and studying wants. And the letter-grade system that colleges have been utilizing to judge scholar studying for generations might be supplanted by a mastery-based grading system that offers stakeholders rather more perception into what college students know.

Is it time to retire letter grades?

Rethinking the aim of grades

As Horn famous in his podcast, many faculty programs adopted a pass-fail grading system as a substitute of giving out letter grades to college students this previous spring — and a few even selected to present each scholar an “A” as a substitute.

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