To Grade or Not to Grade-an Essay on Farber

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To Grade or Not to Grade
Jamie Potts
Baker College of Jackson
To Grade or not to Grade
Sweaty hands, racing heartbeat, trouble breathing. These are a few of the things some students may experience right before, or even during a test. Jerry Farber brings some very interesting alternatives to testing and to the whole grading process in an article he wrote called, “A young person’s guide to the grading system”. (Farber 1969)

In A young persons guide to the grading system (Farber 1969) Farber has some radical ideas for change that unfortunately, may not be taken seriously enough to invoke change. Although in my opinion his ideas are certainly something that could benefit many students in many ways. In brief, what Farber says is, instead of grading with A’s and F’s, schools could use something he calls the “credit system”. He goes on to say “If you meet the minimum requirements of a course, you get credit for it. No A’s or C’s or silver stars, just credit”. (Farber 1969) The best part of this is if you do not meet the minimum requirements nothing happens. As a student that certainly struggles when it comes times for a test, I would like to see some of his ideas implemented in schools.

The way school works now, if you try your best but still don’t meet the minimum requirements of the course, it can greatly affect your grade point average. It can even affect your financial aid or get it taken away completely. Also, students will have to pay again to re-take the class, thus adding more money on to your student loans. What a turn off to learning this becomes. Instead of really wanting to learn, school becomes more of learning only what you have to learn to pass a class.

Is this what school is supposed to be about? Only learning what we must? I believe Farbers ideas would certainly make school a lot more stress free, thus opening up the doors to free learning. Looking at this from the point of view of the student who struggles with test...
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