A Proposal to Abolish Grading

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In " A Proposal to Abolish Grading" by Paul Goodman, Goodman suggests that grading should stop and that schools should use only testing as their form of instruction. He reasons that "grading hinders teaching and creates a bad spirit, going as far as cheating and plagiarizing" (Goodman 259). However, I believe that grading is a necessary process for a student's success. To abolish grading and rely solely on testing would place students at risk for failing by placing them in a pressured atmosphere, breaking the link of understanding between student and teacher, and reducing the student's options to cheating. When a test is given, there are certain rules and reststrictions that a student must follow. These rules and restrictions are supposed to help direct the student's focus to the test, but they actually do the opposite. They create a tense environment which, in turn, makes the student uncomfortable. The student feels pressured to focus on the test and over-analyzes what the test is asking. It becomes harder to remember any information that was gained during the study process. As a result of the tension and uncomfortable surroundings, the student fumbles through the test and there is no graded assignment to balance out what has just happened. The student has failed. There is also the link of understanding that is established between the teacher and student when graded assignments are the primary source of instruction. The grading tells the teacher more about the student's capabilities than testing can. The student works through the assignment and is able to discuss his work with the teacher for better comprehension of the subject. This communication between teacher and student could not be established if the lesson structure was on testing alone. To rely on testing as opposed to grading would make any possible connection obsolete. Goodman argues that cheating and plagiarizing are a result of the bad spirit that grading creates, but I, on the other hand, argue...
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