Grading Grit?

“Grading grit” is a trend we knew was coming, and Education Week reported that schools are now reporting “soft skills.”

Montgomery County Schools in Maryland, for instance, measure students on things like analysis, collaboration, effort/motivation/persistence, elaboration, evaluation, intellectual risk taking, metacognition, and originality.

They are not the only ones, and this is not an entirely new phenomenon.

The Sacremento Bee reported in 2015 that local schools added social emotional learning skills like “grit” and “gratitude” to student report cards.

Many of us wonder how in the world does one objectively grade students on things like “grit” and “gratitude” and “metacognition” (whatever that is).

How does a student get a good mark for being an “intellectual risk-taker”?

These things are horribly subjective and, frankly, are just another way students can be labeled. Plus, we parents also know that how kids behave in the classroom is not always the same as how they behave at home or in other environments.

These traits can also reflect on the quality of the teacher and classroom instruction.

Don’t get me wrong; I think it is good for teachers to communicate to parents not only the grade their student earns in class but also observations about their attitude and behavior. That requires communication beyond giving students scores on buzzwords on a report card that carry little meaning to parents.

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