"BTW, I'd be willing to bet that some of the best doctors never
reach medical school because of the competitive nature of the field."
Maybe so, but I think this has something to do with the idea that, in
some situations, it's better to make one kind of error than another.
In this case, it's undoubtedly true that some people who would've
made good doctors get knocked out for some other reason. But again,
with the generalities-and-tendencies orientation of any system, how
could a system be constructed to get these people into med school?
Would that mean that there'd be a commensurate (or even
disproportionate) increase in the number of relatively incompetent
people who made it in? Say, for instance, 2% of potentially good
doctors get cut, and let's say we want to change the rules so that
half of the good ones who got cut can get in now. But, for that 1%
increase in good people, the system now allows 8% more of those who
are truly marginal or no good at all. Point is, it's hard to develop
any system of evaluation, and no such thing will be even close to
perfect when applied as broadly as it must be. I'd hate to be the
one to do it. I just don't think grading is as bad a system as some
people make it out to be, but then again, I made a lot of A's, so I
WOULD think that.
But here's J Galin's real point:
"Grades and evaluation need not mean the same things. If grades are
necessary but not sufficient for learning, then why not create opportunities
for all students to make good grades while maximizing their response to
Now that sounds OK to me. . .