Are Letter Grades Becoming Obsolete?

Letter Grades pic
Letter Grades

Laurie Kimbrel, head of school at Brookhaven Innovation Academy, has more than 25 years of experience in the education sector. As part of her current responsibilities, Laurie Kimbrel follows the latest discussions in education to help inform her day-to-day work.

The American educational system has undergone significant changes in recent years. Today, one prominently discussed idea is a proposed push away from letter grades toward other achievement metrics.

Over the past decade, the number of schools that have done away with traditional exams has increased. Recognizing the limitations of the current grading system, teachers and administrators are now beginning to use alternative indicators to measure a student’s progress. These new approaches focus more on evaluating the student’s strengths and weaknesses relative to the subject material rather than his or her proficiency in taking a given exam. Increasingly popular, such standards-based systems are sparking serious discussions about replacing the traditional A-F grading rubric.


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