A 69.4% is labeled as failure! This really got me thinking about how and what we grade. There seems to be this unwritten rule that teachers should grade everything students do. Why? Why does every action students take in class need to be documented with a quantifiable score? I talked to a teacher recently that had 50+ grades in a 9 week period. There are only 45 school days in 9 weeks!
This whole system, the traditional system of grades, seems to be so punitive. We seem to use the threat of a low grade to force students to do our work. Isn't that all grades really tell you... completion percentage? Wouldn't you like to know more as parents and teachers? Even if a student does the work, tries hard, but doesn't get it, we still penalize them with a bad grade. Why? Don't we learn more from failure than success? Punishing failure causes a fear of failure, which erodes critical thinking, creativity, and divergent thinking.
I'm curious about other evaluation systems schools are using. I've heard about standards-based grading, but I don't know much about it. I'm less concerned about standard mastery than skill mastery. I've heard of narrative feedback, which I really like. What is the best system that evaluates in fair way, is manageable by busy teachers, usable to parents, and applicable to higher institutions? I would love to hear some feedback.