Re: grades

Kenneth Robert Wright (kright@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU)
Mon, 26 Aug 1996 15:22:25 -0700

Thanks to everyone who posted citations for various studies on the
effects of grading. I sure will find them helpful.

I think the first essay I'll look at is the one you suggest, Kathleen, for
I would never have thought that grades might give girls a "fair shot," as
you say. My intuitive response, considering the age of the grading
system, would have been that grades hurt girls more than boys, so I'm
glad you added your thread.

Kenneth R Wright

On Mon, 26 Aug 1996, Kathleen Yancey wrote:

> at the risk of problematizing something that is already very complex--
> ie, grading--let me add another thread to this discussion. I'm not
> crazy myself about grades, but there is a fairly well documented line
> of research suggesting that it is only because of *grades* that girls
> get some kind of fair shot in schools. As you might suspect, boys do
> well on standard achievement measures, while in the aggregate girls do not.
> But girls' grades--which take into account lots of things beyond the ability
> guess someone else's right answer--show them to be able students, so through
> their grades girls are able to relativize their scores on standard
> achievement measures. (For a thorough dicussion of this, seeSadler
> and Sadler, _Failing at Fairness_, 1994.)
> There are lots of troubling issues here, to be sure, but one I'd like
> to stress is that if/when we take grades away, we need to see if we are
> eliminating standardized tests (eg, SAT, GRE)as well. If we are not, then
> when we take grades away, we take away the one means currently available for
> girls and women to show what they do know; in sun, in removing grades, we
> run the risk of further disenfranchising girls and women.
> A difficult thing for me to support, as you might imagine. :)
> Kathleen Yancey