Jul 2020

Straight A’s for All? What’s the Purpose of a Grade?: Episode 7 of Class Disrupted

To accommodate for the challenges of life and education during the global pandemic, many schools and districts shifted grading systems to pass/fail metrics or, in some cases, to 4.0 GPAs for everyone. For parents accustomed to viewing letter grades as metrics of learning and for students who see straight As as end-all achievements, these changes raise the question: “What do we do without grades?” In this episode of Class Disrupted, we go beyond that inquiry and dive into the deeper consequences of the traditional report card system.

After hearing from a parent and college freshman whose concepts of education have been challenged by grading changes, we discuss why the A through F system exists and the unintended consequences it might have for teachers, students, and most importantly, for true learning. Is there a better way of “making the grade?”


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