Remote schooling or distance learning or whatever your district is calling it had plenty of obstacles to hurdle. Now that we’ve managed the who and the what and the where and the why, it’s time to get down and dirty and talk about grades.
There are two extreme schools of thought and a middle ground appearing.
- Kids should be held accountable for the curriculum. Mastering 9th grade algebra or 6th grade social studies means mastering a body of knowledge and students should be held to that standard. Now that some (many? most? all?) states have thrown away standardized tests, it seems to me that this argument is losing.
- This is unprecedented, unusual, and unplanned. Kids are stressed, families are stressed, teachers are stressed. What’s best for everyone is to call the whole thing a wash and give the kids busy work and straight As.
- Pass/Fail. If a student maintains a certain work ethic, he or she passes for the marking period. If the student doesn’t hand in a minimum number of assignments or demonstrate some minimum level of effort, he or she fails. Seems to provide the teacher with the most latitude, but is it fair for kids? What about the valedictorian honor bestowed upon the highest GPA? Do GPAs mean anything any more?
We all agree that education is important. Students need to advance their skills and their knowledge, and professional educators know how to help them do that. Now that we’ve stripped it to the bare bones – THIS is important, but THIS can go away – are we looking at a revolution in education?
Can grading be up for conversation now?