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 Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series, The uNseries, and other books from some of education's most reputable teachers and leaders. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Connect with @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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