At Club Z!, we receive thousands of phone calls every month from concerned parents who have received a less-than-stellar report card from their child. We hear the panic, fear, confusion, and general sense of overwhelm from these parents who want their children to achieve high marks in school and to reach their full potential. And of course, we understand. We're educators, and we're parents too. But how is it that something so simple as a letter grade can strike fear in the hearts of kids and parents alike? And is it really making for better students, or just more stressed out kids?
A recent article by Michael Thomsen for Slate.com argues the case against grades, asserting that the traditional A-F letter grade system only serves to lower students' self esteem, discourage creativity and further the class divide. Check it out and decide for yourself. Perhaps a less traditional school, such as those from the Montessori system, would be better for your child. Or maybe you're comfortable with the traditional classroom. Either way, the article offers some insightful perspectives on the stressors our students face in today's classroom. It's worth a read for all parents.