People are passionate, anxious about eliminating grades in school

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I have spent a good portion of the past two weeks responding to comments on a debate I started on the TED.com Conversations page called, “Isn’t it time to eliminate grades in education?” Since narrative feedback over grades is such a huge part of the Results Only Learning Environment, I wanted to see what others thought about the subject. The response has been overwhelming.

The debate is closing in on 600 comments. The range of feedback is remarkable, and many countries are represented (this, of course, is emblematic of TED). Some people are completely supportive of the elimination of grades and of results-only learning, while others are completely convinced that education can’t survive without numbers and letters.

Along the way, I’ve learned is that people all over the world are passionate about education. Some people have left 10 or more comments, even creating debates of their own within my TED conversation. It’s also obvious that although many are in favor of some kind of reform movement, they are still nervous about it.

What surprises me is that an idea so simple is being so intensely debated. I sort of expected people to just sign in and say, “Yes, you’re right. Let’s eliminate grades.”

Hopefully, this is the beginning of a legitimate movement.

More from this TED.com debate later.

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
3 Comments
  1. Tracy Watanabe
  2. Mark Barnes
  3. Tracy Watanabe

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