Re: grades

Dave Lewis (dkl@IWAYNET.NET)
Tue, 27 Aug 1996 00:14:50 -0400

>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

A difficult thing for any of us to support, I'd hope!

If I could infer a moment: the studies are saying that girls don't
participate in class compared to boys, so that grades are their only way of
confirming their abilities. And I've taught/seen enough classes to have
seen this phenomenon. BUT, if we did away with grades/tests, we'd have to
come up with alternative ways of helping kids know that they'd accomplished
something -- presentations and portfolios come to mind -- and I'd like to
think we could design them in such a way that women, ESL students, students
with disabilities, etc would have equal opportunity to learn and
demonstrate that learning.

I detest standardized tests (my current dis-favorite being the Ohio
Proficiency tests -- you should see how poorly they're designed!!!!). But
I'd detest doing anything that would disenfranchise any group whatsoever.


Dave Lewis | Don't be afraid to take a big step.
Educational Technology Specialist | You can't cross a chasm in two small | jumps. -David Lloyd George