Teachers rail against grades, while administrators continue to mandate their use

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One of my Twitter friends, Joy Kirr, recently shared a conversation she was having with someone else on Twitter about grades.

Joy has been a marvelous supporter of my book, Role Reversal, which she has reviewed and tweeted about many times. This Twitter conversation demonstrates an ongoing issue about grades, and how many school administrators are inhibiting the change that needs to be made in education.

“I didn’t get approval from admin (for student self-grading),” Joy says in one tweet. This issue comes up often, when I speak at schools and conferences.

In his highly-regarded book, Visible Learning, education researcher John Hattie calls student-self evaluating and grading the single most important factor, when it comes to measuring learning. Yet school administrators continue to mandate traditional grading.

Luminaries like John Hattie and Alfie Kohn and in-the-trenches teachers like Joy Kirr understand the deleterious effects of grades.

How long must students suffer before bureaucrats and school administrators change this harmful system?

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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.
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    • Mark Barnes
    • Joy Kirr
    • Kat Julian