(This letter is regarding the issue of removing letter grades as a measure to determine how well students are doing in school.)
So we are taking away any measurable way of determining how successful they are at something?
Why would parents continue to take school seriously with no way to know what and how effective their children are learning?
This will cripple them even more going into college, where they will still be graded on their work. You are going to have a much higher failure/dropout rate in college now. Grades will be a totally foreign concept to kids and it will make the stress and anxiety even greater, not less.
I do agree that by removing grading we are setting them up for the very thing they are trying to avoid.
We need to be teaching kids how to work through anxiety and not to avoid it. That strategy will not work past high school in any way.
Confidence and self-worth will come through the school system by adopting classes with a more practical and real world skills approach.
Classes like English literature, history, P.E, math, social justice, communications, career education, science and many more need to instill much more real world application.
English needs to focus more on the skills of writing a well formed business letter, resume and/or any other legal or public document.
Poetry, while nice, does none of these things or knowing the different types of poetry as a real world skill set.
If schools still want to offer such parts of English, make it an elective for them.
If we’re teaching history, give them real world examples of how this has and will continue to impact our daily lives. This gives them something practical and a link from past to present, and to possible future endeavours in their historical studies.
Math I think should be split up into many different areas such as chemical math, architectural math, theoretical math, basic life math, and so on.
Most of us do not use any more than basic math skills out of high school, unless in a specialized area. Grade 11 and 12 math are impractical from the stand point of everyday life and most jobs, so why do we continue to make it a mandatory part of the course load?
For communications, why are we not teaching them more deeply about social media; how to effectively target communications through emails, resumes, meetings, networking, and marketing strategies? These are things that are practical and tangible to today’s skill base.
Career education should be all about building out of school skills and experience more.
I don’t know of one business that if they saw someone with promise come to them, wouldn’t offer them a summer job or one later on after more specialized education.
The first thing that comes to mind is horticulture; we have such a huge industry based on growing plants.
Why are we not teaching this much sooner in high school as a basic practical skills course?
All of these things still need a way to be measured in terms of each person being able to take the knowledge and practice it in the real world.
I think we will see a very sharp and drastic decline in the successful preparation of our kids if we take this away.
Kids these days need hands-on practical teaching towards further education and skill building. They need a school system that lets them be a more relevant participant in their education goals and finding them out.
Shawn Hathaway, Oliver