Teachers confuse diligence, achievement

Teachers who base grades on homework confuse obedience with academic achievement, writes Education Realist.

Boosting hardworking students’ grades just a bit (say from one grade’s “+” to another grade’s “-”) is fine. While some may raise an eyebrow at the idea of giving a failing student a D- because he shows up and tries, I not only forgive this, but engage in the practice frequently.

Giving a student with mediocre math skills an A or B simply because they work hard and finish all their homework is quite another matter and worst of all, giving a low grade to students with excellent test performance—in many cases even failing the student—is outright fraud.

At many colleges and universities, remedial classes — especially in math — are filled with kids who got B’s in high school. Some of them didn’t even do all the homework. They did “extra credit” projects.

About Joanne


  1. Education Realist is absolutely, positively, 100% correct–at least regarding your opening sentence.

  2. Three cheers and amen! My DH and I were OK with one of our kids getting a B+ in honors algebra 2 (real honors; school had regular college prep, too), because he hadn’t completed most of his homework, even though he had over 95% on all tests and quizzes – until we discovered that a classmate had been given an A, even though she had had a couple of Cs and the rest Ds on her quizzes and tests, but had done all of her homework. Neither the teacher nor the principal would allow our son’s grade to be changed, to reflect his mastery of the work. That’s dishonest, fraudulent and amounts to educational malpractice – if the ed world acknowledged the concept. BTW, he went on to get 800 on the top SAT II math test and a 5 in AP calc BC, but was always dinged for not completing homework, both in that HS and in the next one.

    Groupwork allows the same fraud; in fact, I think it’s often used to “justify” giving good grades to kids who do no work. Another of my kids was one of a few honors students in a freshman science class and every class was groupwork; she and the other honors students were made to work with a spec ed student who cried if she was asked to do anything more than sign her name. She was given the same As as the kids who had done the work – and because “she” (ha, ha) always did “her” homework. When the kids complained, the teacher admitted that he didn’t want to deal with her.

    • Oh, yes, group work can be a fraud. Somehow, one of my kids always had special ed kids, and non-diligent kids in her groups. All kids received the same grade. It was frustrating for my kid, for whom group work was aggravating, and a guaranteed lower grade. Add in the “teacher’s pet” names she was called, and the expectation other kids had that somehow she would save the day. It’s worse, though for the special ed kids in the groups, because the teacher can present the “advanced” work the child was doing in the groups to the parents. It’s deceptive to state a student’s doing grade level work when they aren’t. It’s also a waste of time the students could have used to learn something.

      The colleges know of this, though. That’s why the standardized tests are here to stay.

      • At least in the areas we have lived, as soon as the College Board removed the “non-standard testing conditions” label from SAT results, many parents did their best to make sure their kids had some sort of learning disability or other diagnosis (various anxieties were popular) so their kids could get extra time. We knew many (and knew of more) who had their kids privately tested to make sure of it. As long as the SAT results were flagged, only the parents of kids seriously needing accommodations were willing to have that label.

        • The kids weren’t labeled to get extended time on the SAT. The formula in the school seemed to be, one high flier, one special ed kid, and two kids who could do the work, but were flighty or lazy. The sped kids worked much harder than the non-diligent. (No, the non-diligent didn’t have an executive planning disorder, unless football counts.)

    • My comment below sort of summarizes this, but the whole problem is with grades. If they didn’t exist, none of this “fraudulent” assessment would occur.

  3. I got a pity “C” for the first semester of calculus my senior year because my teacher knew I was working my butt off. I was coming in for extra help from him several times per week and tried several different outside tutors and study guides. My teacher did not want to give me the failing grade I deserved & jeopardize my college admissions chances. However, he only would give me the “C” on the condition that I withdraw from the class for 2nd semester. I think he had been hoping I’d squeak by a passing grade on the end-of-semester exam, and when that didn’t happen, he knew I had to leave the class.

    The ironic thing is that when I re-took calculus the following year at college, somehow the material finally “clicked” for me. I got a B+ for differential and an A- for integral. Go figure.

    • I’ve got a better idea than +, – and extra credit. How about we just do away with grades completely. Replace the useless numbers and letters and pluses and minuses with specific, detailed narrative feedback for everything students do.

      The research on the success of feedback over grades is overwhelming. I’ve stopped grading, and my students complete activities and projects — both independent and collaborative — and never ask what they’re worth.

      I’ll be presenting this concept at the ASCD conference in Philly next month, if you’re attending and you’d like to learn more.

      • Do you teach in the humanities? I think a narrative approach works significantly better in that discipline than in STEM. In a math class like my 12th grade calculus, a student has either mastered the material or he/she hasn’t. Very easy to quantify, not so easy to provide useful narrative feedback. What could my calculus teacher have said? “Crimson is very diligently trying to learn the material, but at this time she has not yet mastered any of it.”

        • Hmm., your class sounds quite limited. I don’t know calculus, but I do know that any class that is this cut and dry is part of the problem in education. Is there no problem-solving? Is there only one approach to everything? You really have no feedback for your learners?

          • Much of calculus is pretty cut and dried. It’s a grammar class – concerned with building foundational knowledge and process. If you’re asked to solve a related rates problem, there will be very strong convergence between the pictures and solutions. If you’re doing a derivative by the “four step technique” … well, heaven help you if you have 3 or 5. (Think about the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch in Monty Python.) There is room for style and problem solving, but that often occurs in the application of the discipline (science, engineering, whatever). Choosing creative co-ordinates for an integration problem usually leads to MORE headaches.
            Imagine asking an elementary student to underline the verbs in a sentence and having them ask what a verb is (after it’s been taught of course). There’s really no room for problem solving there – either Johnnie knows what a verb is, or he doesn’t and the feedback needs to reflect this. I’ve had my teaching criticized because I don’t always work Bloom’s Taxonomy to the highest. My response generally is, there’s no point to a nice roof if the foundations and sill are faulty.

      • Mark Roulo says:

        If the audience for the grades is the student (say high school or even middle school and above) or the parents, then a detailed narrative should work fine as long as the key points/concepts/whatever for the course have to be covered (my fear is that it is easy to slide over the true weaknesses of a student by just ignoring them). But I’m wondering how fine this works for a high school teacher with, say, 150 students? Even ten minutes per student works out to 1,500 minutes per semester just writing up the narrative feedback. Is this really going to happen?

        Additionally, if the audience for the grades is someone who needs to wade through a lot of these things (think potential employer or maybe college), then the narrative approach has the DIS-advantage that it (a) takes much longer to wade through, (b) will probably be turned into a defacto numeric grade anyway, and (c) if most other applicants have a grade/score/whatever the transcript stands out in a bad way. Homeschoolers who apply to college don’t get to duck the lack of letter grades … their SAT scores just wind up being very heavily weighted.

        • Roger Sweeny says:

          At my high school, we send out “warnings” in the middle of every term. Teachers enter the warnings electronically. There are 5 possible warnings and about 15 possible comments. I.E.P.s seem to be built the same way. One chooses from a limited number of canned possibilities. I strongly suspect narratives would evolve into a similarly limited system.

          • I would never refer to feedback as a “warning.” Also, if I’m not willing to dedicate more than 10 minutes per student per semester, I should probably find a different profession.

            Good narrative feedback isn’t “canned.” It’s specific to each learner and what he/she has accomplished and still needs to do.

            Is it work? Sure.

          • Wendy Gelbart says:

            The middle school that I teach at sends out progress reports med quarter to all students, regardless of grades, just to cover their bases. They also have a voice recorded system that calls student’s home number weekly to report Ds and Fs. Even with this in place we still have parent’s who are surprised when their child receives failing grades for the quarter or semester.

          • Roger Sweeny says:


            You are probably right that “Good narrative feedback isn’t ‘canned.'” In that case I am suggesting that “good narrative feedback” will not “scale.” Instead it will evolve into a system of “Click one or more of the following options. If you click option 15 (other), write a specific comment in the box.” Most teachers for most students won’t click 15.

            Perhaps they should all find a different profession, but as Donald Rumsfeld said, “You go to war with the army you have.”

  4. UC Santa Cruz had to stop doing narratives when it wanted to be taken seriously as a university.

    As for high school, forget it. Narratives are a joke.

    • If I gave your comment an F, you’d likely be angry, but you’d have no idea what was wrong with it. If I gave it an A, you might think you did something well, but you wouldn’t know what that is either.

      Of course, I’d never do you this disservice. Instead, I’ll provide narrative feedback. Your comment is underdeveloped and would be strengthened if you could provide evidence that grades are a more efficient method of evaluating learning. Saying “Narratives are a joke,” is merely unsubstantiated opinion. Please provide solid research that demonstrates the value of numbers and letters over narrative feedback.

      • I wouldn’t be angry at all. I’d consider the source of that F and know I was on the right track, because lord knows, if I agreed with you on anything I’d be extremely concerned until I reassured myself that you’re just a stopped clock.

        And your idea is moronic. That’s an unsupported assertion, which is all your idea deserves.

  5. i am trying to use standards based grading this year in an attempt to get away from the flaws of the grading system that’s been used for so long now. i try to give helpful and detailed feedback for each of my students, but even doing that once a week is incredibly time consuming! (i teach 8th grade math and have 145 students.) the turnaround has to be quick or else it becomes irrelevant, and since i also coach cheerleading, that has added a time crunch to the whole practice. i think my students have a better idea of what they do and do not know, and what they can do to improve, so that is a positive. but i still find that when i talk to other teachers in my building that all of us have different standards for what proficiency is.
    some accept as low as 70% accuracy. some say it should be 100% or bust. i’m somewhere in the middle. any thoughts?

    • In my family’s homeschool, I look for 80-90% (depending on how difficult the assignment/assessment is) and no major conceptual errors. A student who knows the material may still make stupid calculation errors so expecting 100% I think is overly harsh. I do, however, require my students to go back and correct their errors.

    • Why does all of your feedback have to be written? Can’t you provide verbal feedback for some activities? Can’t your stronger students provide feedback to some of the weaker ones?

      • Wendy Gelbart says:

        I try to balance out assessment grades between written exams and verbal response. I have a student whose written test grades are Ds and Fs, but his verbal responses indicate an above average understanding of the content.

        • First, I feel very strongly that the stronger kids should not be expected, let alone required, to help weaker students. If they freely choose to do so, fine; otherwise it’s the teacher’s job.

          Secondly, as students move upwards through the grades, being able to communicate through writing is increasingly important, and it becomes essential for many post-secondary options (not just college). Inflating D and F grades on written work is fraudulent; telling the student, his classmates, his parents and anyone who sees/evaluates his transcript (for college, job etc) that his abilities are far above the reality,

          • All of my students are expected to help each other. The idea that we shouldn’t collaborate is draconian and one I’m working diligently to eliminate.

          • Forced collaboration is equally draconian – or is that only a one-way street?

            Insisting on group work in every situation is like having a hammer – everything you then see just happens to be a “nail.”

  6. Stop connecting these two cases. they are distinct.

    If yon are acing a class but can’t be bothered to turn in your homework, you’re being lazy. It will come back to bite you. Yon might as well learn now that life is about showing up, and when you won’t, people resent it. It takes discipline to do work that isn’t fun. life requires that discipline. Learn the discipline. Homework too easy? Ask for harder if you can do so without insulting your teacher.

    Getting a high grade for effort despite back of mastery? Idiotic.

    The solution isn’t to do away with grades. It’s for educators to take accountability for teaching, and students for learning, and grade accordingly.

    • Sometimes, it’s a question of how much homework an individual kid needs to do in order to learn the material; some kids need more than others and a good teacher will provide for that. I think this is especially true in math; some kids “get it” very easily. This was true of the son I mentioned above; he did homework daily, but he didn’t always do it all.

      • Busywork is the most soul-crushing work of all.  What’s worse than homework well in excess of “getting it” is work one, two, or more grade levels below where the student’s skills and knowledge actually are.

    • If yon are acing a class but can’t be bothered to turn in your homework, you’re being lazy. It will come back to bite you. Yon might as well learn now that life is about showing up, and when you won’t, people resent it. It takes discipline to do work that isn’t fun. life requires that discipline. Learn the discipline.

      As grades are used for placement into higher level courses, decreasing the grade for a capable student only on the basis of homework has the potential to change his life in a bad way. Sure, students should complete and hand in homework.

      On average, boys are less likely to hand in homework. This has consequences. Consider: This year’s report by the College Board analyzes data from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and found that of the 771,000 students in the class of 2011 who scored well enough to be considered ready for AP, nearly 478,000 (62 percent) did not take an AP exam for which they were recommended. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/02/08/21ap.h31.html?cmp=ENL-EU-MOSTPOP

      Homework is not the only reason, of course. However, it would be interesting to find out how many of the students had been denied access to the AP courses only on the basis of grades decreased by lacking homework.

      • That is an excellent point about grades and placement into higher courses. Also, my experience has been that the teachers who refuse to give top grades to kids who demonstrate mastery on tests but don’t do all the homework (I agree, disproportionately boys) are also unlikely to recommend them for honors/AP placement in subsequent classes. Teacher recommendations are often required for such placement and administrators are often unwilling to override teachers on this. (but very willing to mandate pulling up the bottom kids, who have clearly not mastered anything) That’s one benefit to taking the SAT II math test(s); with a top score, it’s harder for teachers to justify not recommending the student. I’ve known a few parents in that situation who had their kid take level I (after algebra I or geometry?) and the level II after pre-calc, just to make sure they would have ammunition to challenge next year’s placement. The teacher’s reputation was well-earned. I’ve also known of students taking other SAT IIs, and even APs, for the same reason. It’s a little hard for a teacher not to recommend a student for AP English Language when he’s taken the AP exam – cold- and had a 3.

      • Lightly Seasoned says:

        I’d bet it is largely an issue of choice. Senioritis and all that. I know there are far more students who would do well in my AP Lit than take it every year. They just don’t want the toughest English class senior year. Exam registration closes at the end of March. Many kids know where they are going to college at that point and whether or not they’ll even get credit for a qualifying score. Some pick and choose which exams they’ll take (they are $87 each).

        I know it is hard to believe, but I’ve known many of those kids who don’t do homework because they’re too brilliant to bother. They do NOT do well in the AP English courses. If they don’t do the reading or turn in any essays, they fail. In my state, you need 4 credits of English to graduate, so that’s a big risk to take senior year. I have three such geniuses in jeopardy of not graduating right now for that very reason. Quite honestly, I resent the pressure on *me* to pass them regardless.

        • Lightly Seasoned, districts can differ. The College Board is comparing the number of qualifying scores on the PSAT to the number of AP exams. Senioritis is a known danger, but surely it doesn’t hit 40% to 79% of the top performers?

          The gap in ability versus participation was even greater for most groups of minority students. Of the white students recommended for AP, 61.6 percent did not take an AP subject, while 42.1 percent of Asian-American students did not take it. Yet 79.4 percent of African-Americans, 70.4 percent of Hispanic/Latinos, and 73.7 percent of American Indian/Alaska Natives did not take the recommended AP subject.

          Your district may not gate keep access to AP courses, but our district does, just as Paul Attewell outlined in “The Winner-Take-All High School.” http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ665366&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ665366

          • Lightly Seasoned says:

            Actually, that correlates to my experience as well. I lose very well qualified African-American students at a much higher rate than white students (we have very few Asians or Latinos in our particular district) purely through their choice. Sometimes they don’t have the parental pressure. Often it is peer pressure. I also suspect other issues.

            We do a little bit of gatekeeping, but are notoriously wishy-washy about it.

            If you find 70% shocking, you have no idea about senioritis. Right now, I’d say it has hit 98% of them.

            It would be hard to track through PSAT scores since only a small number of our kids take it (the SAT is not popular in the midwest). We are one of the top public high schools in our region, however.

        • I’m not talking about senioritis among kids already in the course; I’m talking about kids trying to get into the course for the following year. Schools that gatekeep use grades and/or teacher recommendations for APs. When grades and/or recommendations are distorted – sometimes seriously – by homework grading (as opposed to tests/quizzes/papers), capable kids are kept out and some unprepared kids get in.

          • Lightly Seasoned says:

            There are plenty of kids in the courses who don’t take the exam. Oh, I forgot about the biggest issue — dual credit. Many kids go for the guaranteed credit of the dual credit course over the gamble in the exam. It’s wiping out AP programs in some districts.

            I just think you have a distorted view of what those numbers represent. Sure, some kids might be kept out because they don’t do their homework. That’s a small part of the reason.

          • First of all, the College Board’s philosophy is that AP is “open to all students” regardless of their previous course grades. Schools are not to keep kids out of AP because of grades if they are following the College Board’s guidelines. I teach AP Calculus and am also a consultant for the College Board, and I believe that many kids don’t take AP for several reasons…senioritis is a big one (I had a bunch of kids drop my course at semester because class rank was decided and set at that point), dual credit is another (although dual credit doesn’t always transfer out of state), and just plain school overload is a third. I had a couple of kids a few years back taking 7 AP courses at once – one of the students claimed to only get 3-4 hours of sleep a night. That is overkill. The students may be “recommended” for an AP course by their PSAT score, but does their school offer it? Are they already so involved in extracurricular activities that they don’t have the time to put in to what is required in an AP course? Also, many kids don’t see the benefit of AP, and don’t sign up for the courses.

            And as far as grades are concerned, homework in our district is mandated to count no more than 20% of the average. I only count it 10%, and I grade it on completion. 90% of the grade is quizzes and tests, so the kids who master the material will get the better grades. Numeric grades are the only way to go in a math class…narrative feedback does not show a student how or why he missed a math problem. Kids and parents would also balk at the idea…they want to know who is #1 in no uncertain terms. And here in Texas the state universities admit the top 8-10% of students in the graduating class unconditionally…how will they know who those kids are without grades? Narrative grading is to me like spandex…great idea in theory, but not in reality… 🙂

    • In reply to your point, I quote from my freshman English teacher: “If it’s so easy for you, why didn’t you just do it?”

      He expected me to do work that held no benefit for me so that I could then get work from him I might actually learn from. Being 14 at the time, I just disengaged. Looking back, I wish I’d been up to objecting to this on the basis that it was horribly inefficient for both of us.

      Given my experiences on this front, I’d be loathe to write it off as simple laziness on the part of students. If the teacher is demanding compliance to obviously meaningless busywork, I don’t blame a kid for withdrawing.

      • Quincy, you make one of the most insightful comments I’ve seen in this intriguing debate. All to often, teachers demand compliance. Instead of creating engaging activities and providing some autonomy to students, it’s easier to simply say, “You have to do it or lose the points.” It’s the worst part of traditional education.

  7. back/lack

  8. Ponderosa says:

    I wish grades were based on a objective test that determined whether or not the student mastered the material.

    But this means that kids who aren’t smart or don’t work hard will fail. And failing kids has huge costs for a teacher: flak from students; flak from parents; flak from principals (“YOU have failed!”) Unless we give teachers “armor” to deal with this flak, it’s not reasonable to expect them to give honest grades.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      “Unless we give teachers ‘armor’ to deal with this flak, it’s not reasonable to expect them to give honest grades.”

      When, as a society, we decide that we want honest grades, we won’t have the teachers who teach the classes also be responsible for deciding how much the students have learned.

      I don’t blame the teachers for this … I don’t think that the majority of parents *want* honest assessments.

    • If we placed students in appropriate classes, they wouldn’t fail for lack of ability but rather for lack of effort. The problem is that politically, ability-tracking is out of fashion. More and more schools are requiring every student take algebra, when in the past the lower-ability kids would just have taken “business math” or some other basic math course.

    • There is no such thing as an objective test.

      • Michael E. Lopez says:

        You’ve been around teenagers too long. You’re starting to sound like them.

        • Hey Michael, I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you the material to learn, supply all of the worksheets and homework and create test items that include choices like “both A and B are correct” or “all of the above.” Then, I’ll decide which answers are correct, based on my interpretation of the material.

          When you get your D, let’s see if you think the test is objective.

          • Mark Roulo says:

            You have shown how to create a non-objective test. If the claim was that *all* tests were objective, we’d be done.

            But your claim was that *no* test can be objective. Showing one example of a non-objective test doesn’t prove your claim.

          • I think all of my math tests are objective – you either know how to solve an equation or you don’t…

          • Michael E. Lopez says:

            Mark Barnes-

            Here’s a VERY slightly modified version of what you said to Cal above, with the changes in bold:

            Your comment is underdeveloped and would be strengthened if you could provide evidence that grades are a more efficient method of evaluating learning. Saying “There is no such thing as an objective test,” is merely unsubstantiated opinion.

            In addition to those shortcomings, which you so eloquently catalogued, what you said is also obviously false (see Mark Roulo’s comment).

          • Michael E. Lopez says:

            Also, while I’m at it…

            I accept your challenge. I’ll host the entire exchange on my blog so everyone can see.

            You pick the material.

            You make the test. Let’s make it multiple choice. Given that *no* test is supposed to be objective, it shouldn’t matter that you’re limited in this way.

            Pick someone you know in Southern California to proctor it. I’ll travel anywhere between Lancaster, Palos Verdes, Laguna Nigel, and Riverside, if necessary.

            Make the test as tricky as you’d like — the only arbiter of fairness will be that other people are going to see the test, see the grading, and are going to know whether or not you’re being even remotely reasonable. This will also serve as a check on the correctness of your answers.

            If I get a D, I’ll never call you out on the internet again. Ever.

            If I pass the test, I’ll be perfectly content with the satisfaction of making the entire process public.

            Of course, if you didn’t really mean it, and were just being rhetorical from the cheap seats, as it were, I’d understand entirely.

  9. Ponderosa says:

    Conversely, there’s no flak for giving dishonest grades. In fact, it’s rewarded.

    • MagisterGreen says:

      Giving dishonest grades isn’t just rewarded; it’s encouraged. It’s not being “dishonest”…it’s “assessing student strengths” or “giving students opportunities to ‘show what they know’ ” or “accommodating learning differences” or a bunch of other such nonsense. It’s a natural consequence of the relativistic ideas that permeate what passes for “intellectual” thought these days.

      There is something fundamentally sick about adults showering so much praise on young people.

    • Exactly. The fundamental issue is that there is not a consensus on what grades should represent. Is it achievement? Is is progress? Is it effort? A combination?

      This is why you can have two classrooms side by side in a school with completely different grading methodologies.

  10. Deirdre Mundy says:

    The main reason we have grades is because we need a way to compare students to each other. We need to be able to make comparisons between students because different students in the same class learn at different paces and master different amounts of the material.

    If we could switch to more individualized instruction AND a clear, universal curriculum progression, we wouldn’t need grades, we’d just need ‘level completed.”

    Then you could simply have lists of names, ages, and benchmarks:

    Bob Robertson. Age 10. Mastered math through long division.
    Sarah Sarathugater. Age 10. Mastered math through algebra 1.
    Misty Rainbowfly. Age 10. Mastered math through basic addition.

    etc. etc.

    This is essentially what homeschoolers and tutors do. A students age may determine ‘grade’ (necessary for things like sports) but the coursework depends solely on mastery.

    As computers/online academies make it easier to tie course progression to mastery and to ‘differentiate’ in a classroom, we may see the death of grades.

  11. Wendy Gelbart says:

    I teach middle school (6th and 7th grade resource math) and I have alot of parents upset with their child’s grades because “they were an A and B student in elementary school”. Too many teachers do give Susie a good grade because she “tries so hard” and “never causes any problems”. This practice does not do any favors for these kids and it ultimately angers the parents when their grades balance out to realistic levels.. They are set up with unrealistic expectations. A “C” is average, and parents need to learn to accept that their child might be just that.

    • ES teachers are also likely to give good grades to neat work, with lots of coloring and decorations (which may be expected), even if the academic quality/accuracy of the work doesn’t justify it. Reality hit when my older kids’ classes hit JHS (7-8) – lots of girls had a rude shock and lots of boys were delighted that they weren’t graded on their coloring. Unfortunately, when my younger kids entered the same school, as a 6-7-8 MS, the artsy crafty, touchy-feely stuff came with them.

      • Perhaps we should throw out the arts entirely. Have them all be accountants and engineers. We wouldn’t want anything “touchy-feely” in our utopian world.

        • Roger Sweeny says:

          That was a silly response. momof4 was complaining about “artsy crafty” stuff where it wasn’t appropriate, not calling for the elimination of the arts or for some utopian world. That you so misinterpreted her, or willfully misrepresented her, is disappointing

          I realize this is the Web but, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

        • We wouldn’t want anything “touchy-feely” in our utopian world.

          Why don’t you show us the value of touchy-feely.  Let’s see you live in a house and work in a building, drive between across bridges, eating food and being treated by doctors… all of which were specified, designed, tested and trained by people who were graded on their coloring and artistic senses rather than facts.

          You’ll wind up here, if you survive the building and bridge collapses, systems failures (including fires), and erroneous diagnoses and treatments.