Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The Debate over Grades

In today's world, the only thing that's wrong is saying that something is wrong. Values, standards, grades -- none of this seems to matter much. But God is not indifferent. And he will judge the world, even Christians, because in the Bible, God's judgment is not set against his goodness. It's proof of his goodness. God's righteous standards are the necessary demonstrations that the God of all goodness is not going to coexist with moral evil. Unless there were a final, just settling-up, life would be a mockery. The older I get, the more clearly I see this. Jesus is coming soon, and when he does, we will all stand before his judgment seat and give an account.

In our educational system, merit has been left behind. We are told that grades only victimize students. 

Some Ivy League schools no longer grade according to what students actually earn. There is even a movement to abolish grades. Everybody wants to have an automatic A for effort. 

The day will come when graduation and admissions are synonymous. If you get in, you have the right to graduate. And it doesn't matter in the least if you can do the work or not. Others favor methods like a pass-fail grading system, self-assessment, and professor-assessment in lieu of letter grades. I am told that at Yale Law School, the first set of classes is already taken on a pass-fail basis. The fear of failure is no longer a motivator. 

The world has changed so rapidly since I graduated from college in 1975. I can barely recognize or believe what I hear and see today. They are coming hard at STEM too. I almost think that a university degree is worse than useless. It's a positive detriment to one's education. As a society we are starved for narratives that speak about individual responsibility. 

I have never graded on a curve. The standards are the same for every student. You either meet them, or you don't. I do not see how education can possibly take place without such an assessment.