Should a student’s grades reflect achievement only, or should teachers give credit for effort? In the Washington Post, Jay Mathews looks at the question:
Teachers frequently ask themselves: If a student does all the homework, listens in class but averages a D on tests, should hard work result in at least a C? Or does that render grades meaningless and make it less likely the student will master the material?
Mel Lucas, an expert on grading who is director of research and assessment for the school board of Alachua County, Fla., said a national effort is underway to ensure that grades measure only academic achievement and keep effort out of the calculation.
This, he said, grows out of concern over “the quality of the workforce and the future of our country.” Some critics, he said, say that “children are coming out of high school not as well educated as their parents” and that one of the culprits is a grading system that lets them slide through school if they do what they are told, even if they don’t learn much.
One study showed “Florida elementary school students showed more improvement on state tests if they had teachers who were tough graders.”