Getting Rid of Grades

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Justin Pineo
4-23-12
ENG-1052
Getting Rid of Grades
If there is one thing that all students can relate to, it is grades. They are used throughout numerous countries, although each country has a slight difference in grading systems. Grades are a tool to measure how well a student is doing academically. But the real question is “Do they work?” The answer is no. Getting rid of the grading system currently in use in schools across the nation would benefit students, allowing them to really succeed by understanding and becoming involved in what they are learning, as opposed to spending more time worrying about grades.

Grades have been noted as what could be keeping kids from doing well in school. Many claim that grades are necessary to motivate students, but what really happens is that the students become less interested in learning and doing the work. They feel that if they are being graded on a task, it feels like more of a chore and therefore they do not want to do it. But who can really blame them? Grades only tell how well one met the criteria for an assignment. As Alfie Kohn, an author of multiple education and parenting books, wrote in his essay “From Degrading to De-Grading,” “Students are brought up in a place where grades, not intellectual exploration, count.” As a well-known critic of the education system in America, he would most likely have no problem removing grades from schools.

There have been several studies done about how grades affect a student’s approach to work. It appears that students who are given grades were significantly less creative than students who received “qualitative feedback” (Buchs, Butera, Pulfrey 683). And the more a task required a student to use creative thinking, the worse they performed. The highest achievements happened only when students received the feedback (Buchs, Butera, Pulfrey 683). But what happens when students stop trying on their own, when they realize they can use other people’s answers. This is otherwise...
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