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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Do you grade based on effort or only on accomplishment?

Do you grade based on effort or only on accomplishment?

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The GenEd teachers at my school say only accomplishment should be reflected in grades. Most of the SpEd teachers say effort, even effort without accomplishment, should get a good grade. Grades are, at best, a fairly arbitrary system of communicating anything. Is your B the same as my B? What is a B, anyway? Two students: 1) Sue is a high-ability student who doesn't try hard, does not do her best work and earns a B; 2) Mary is a low-middle ability student who works her tail off and earns a B instead of her usual C. Are these Bs equivalent? Does the grade communicate anything about the student? Should Mary get a better grade than Sue because she tried harder? Which student's behavior better reflects the values of our schools? Of our society?

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