Should Letter Grades Be Eliminated?

Filed under: In The News, Education: Big Kids, Education: Tweens, Education: Teens

letter grades

One Iowa school might ditch letter grades in favor of "standards-based reporting." Credit: Corbis

The Des Moines Register reports that some parents are less than thrilled with a proposal from the Waukee, Iowa, school board to eliminate letter grades in middle school and replace them with "standards-based reporting." This means that students "would be rated 'beginning,' 'developing,' 'secure' or 'exceeds' in 10 to 12 objectives -- or standards -- per subject," according to the Register.

No, letter grades is not a new thing, at least for younger students. I didn't get them in elementary school, which wasn't that long ago. This particular method sounds more confusing than what I remember getting, which was something along the lines of "Good," "Satisfactory," "Needs Improvement," etc. If I'm understanding the concept behind "standards-based reporting" correctly, it sounds like a lot more work for teachers.

The Waukee school board proposal is not final yet; more hearings are scheduled and the board doesn't vote until March 8. But what do you think of the idea of eliminating letter grades in middle school? Good idea or bad idea?

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