Grading students serves the system – not learning

To the editor: I was pleasantly surprised by Douglas King’s “A Defense of the ‘Ungrading’ Movement” (July 13, 2022). This article was very good, I thought, at uncovering the intentionality inherent in the assignment of grades. The process of grading pupils and students serves the system — not learning. As an unintended consequence, King’s crucial admission/realization begins … Continue reading “Grading students serves the system – not learning”


Is “ungrading” better than traditional methods of assessment?

To the editor: Prof. King chases the Ungrading Grail, believing it to be the Answer. He explains: “faced with this systemic and perennial predicament (that different teachers have different expectations and varying standards), a student’s orientation becomes transactional:  Give each teacher what he or she wants, so to acquire the grade one needs.”  The student, … Continue reading “Is “ungrading” better than traditional methods of assessment?”


A Defense of the “Ungrading” Movement

In his April piece for the Martin Center, Adam Ellwanger critiqued “contract grading” as a symptom of “the war against academic excellence” and the broader societal movement toward “some fetishized notion of social justice.” I agree with the diagnosis my colleague offers regarding the pervasiveness of “Lake Wobegon” syndrome, wherein everyone is above average, trophies … Continue reading “A Defense of the “Ungrading” Movement”