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My granddaughter, Ema, a kindergartner, came to my house the other day to show me her homework. She proudly pointed to a colorful butterfly sticker that she had received. Naturally, I oohed and aahed at the paper with the requisite big hug. We also found an empty spot on my refrigerator to display her work.
From the very beginning students are constantly assessed and graded according to their performance and the particular standard of the teacher. Some schools use letter grades, others use numbers, and still others use E for excellent, S for satisfactory, and so on.
I read Larry Andrew’s essay “Grades, Scores, and Honors: A Numbers Game?” with great interest. It’s an excellent essay touching on these topics in relation to honors. In the University of New Mexico Honors Program, students are assigned an A for excellent, above average honors work; a CR for acceptable, meeting the basic requirements for the course; or an NC for unacceptable or nonexistent work. In addition, instructors complete an evaluation form that includes both quantitative (numbers) and qualitative (written comments) appraisal for each student.