Importance of Grades in School Essay

964 Words Dec 5th, 2012 4 Pages
Lauren Klein
Mrs. Imani Stephen
ENG 1101
23 October 2012
The Importance of Grades in School Alfie Kohn explains in his article, From Degrading to De-grading, that traditional letter/number grades are a waste of time. Kohn believes teachers wrongly relish the moments they get to assign a student a grade. His opinion of the best teacher is the one that despises the grade book and wonders about the thought of giving grades at all. Alfie Kohn provides many reasons supporting his beliefs. For example, grades reduce the student’s interest to learn the material and reduce their preference for a challenge. When grades are in the picture, the student’s quality of thinking is diminished. It is also argued that grades are unreliable, not valid,
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It’s the individual schools and teachers that are responsible for setting a solid grading system. It isn’t the grading system that is at fault here. He also ridicules the grading system for being a “subjective rating masquerading as an objective evaluation” (Kohn). However, subjectivity is a natural trait in the education system. Every individual teacher has a different way of thinking and different standards. The grading system can at least provide a more universal way to evaluate individual students. Grades also present parents a means of accountability with their student. The author says that bad grades bring about “unpleasant conversations” between parents and students (Kohn). Still, the same would result with any other system, because parents will always have to be informed if their child is performing poorly. I believe traditional grading is still necessary in schools. Without the letter/number grading, there would be no way to track the student’s progress. Even though a bad grade could be daunting, the plain numbers help students in the long run by encouraging hard work and progression. When students achieve a good grade, they have the experience of feeling accomplished. This feeling gives them the objective to do well in school. Good grades give the student a sense of accomplishment contributing to their self-esteem. Higher grades become important and the student becomes motivated. If the incentive of grades is

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