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Prof calls to get rid of grades because they are 'capitalism in action'

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And someone thinks this professor is smart enough to be teaching?  Maybe he should be replaced by an ungraded replacement.  That being said, the real reason is actually stated by this professor, he wants more free time (paraphrasing of course).

 

 

 

A New York professor is calling for the abolition of grades.  He claims they are not only unfair to students, but that they are a means of propping up capitalism, and as such, academia would be better off doing away with grading entirely.

“Grading takes up much of my time that could be better spent on teaching or otherwise directly interacting with students,” New School professor Richard Wolff wrote in a Monday op-ed entitled “Grades Are Capitalism in Action. Let’s Get Them Out of Our Schools.” He claims the practice of administering grades to students has “little educational payoff” and “disrespects [students] as thinking people.”

Wolff has been known to promote Marxism and condemn capitalism, even going so far as to blame capitalism for American homelessness.  More recently, he made headlines by comparing President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler on Twitter.

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Wolff claims that not only does grading perpetuate capitalism, but that it is “immensely wasteful, ineffective, and largely negative” at “all levels” of education: primary education, secondary education, and higher education.  

 

https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13539

Edited by Bill & Katya

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Do not dismiss this, in the early 90s Baltimore county did just this, grades became measurement of perceived performance not again the class but ones ability. A student that was expected to be smart and was was graded as satisfactory where a student of limited ability that was performing above limited ability but below the first student would be rated superior .. it failed miserably and was done away with


 

 

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1 hour ago, Randyandyuni said:

Do not dismiss this, in the early 90s Baltimore county did just this, grades became measurement of perceived performance not again the class but ones ability. A student that was expected to be smart and was was graded as satisfactory where a student of limited ability that was performing above limited ability but below the first student would be rated superior .. it failed miserably and was done away with

This is a bit different as this whack-job is proposing no grades at all.  I guess all one would have to do is show up at a university, pay an outrageous fee, and they will give you a bachelors degree.  In the socialist/communist thinking, this is pretty standard thought, 'every one is equal in ability and intellect' which of course is not true, and those systems do nothing to change that.  But we still get these Ivory Towers Types that think they can come up with the better mousetrap.


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Honestly, he just sounds like he's bored with grading! :lol: 

 

Is this so very different than taking classes pass/fail? I didn't see anything in his article that said he would do away with giving out a "fail" but that he saw letter grades as useless. My college allowed us to take classes either for a grade (A to C; failures not recorded and you don't get credit obviously) or on a satisfactory/no credit basis. It's kind of a weird system and can make it harder for employers and graduate/professional schools to 'gauge" us, admittedly, but we create a portfolio of work to show our achievements. The system has been in place for about 50 years or so if I recall correctly, and it's not like I went to Podunk U.:innocent:

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1 minute ago, laylalex said:

Honestly, he just sounds like he's bored with grading! :lol: 

 

Is this so very different than taking classes pass/fail? I didn't see anything in his article that said he would do away with giving out a "fail" but that he saw letter grades as useless. My college allowed us to take classes either for a grade (A to C; failures not recorded and you don't get credit obviously) or on a satisfactory/no credit basis. It's kind of a weird system and can make it harder for employers and graduate/professional schools to 'gauge" us, admittedly, but we create a portfolio of work to show our achievements. The system has been in place for about 50 years or so if I recall correctly, and it's not like I went to Podunk U.:innocent:

"Wolff has been known to promote Marxism and condemn capitalism"........."Grades Are Capitalism in Action. Let’s Get Them Out of Our Schools.".......

He doesn't sound lazy to me.....He sounds like a socialist loon.


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40 minutes ago, missileman said:

"Wolff has been known to promote Marxism and condemn capitalism"........."Grades Are Capitalism in Action. Let’s Get Them Out of Our Schools.".......

He doesn't sound lazy to me.....He sounds like a socialist loon.

Actually, Wolff is not just known to promote Marxism and condemn capitalism... he IS a Marxist! :lol: The writing in that article (the one for Campus Reform, not Wolff's article) is atrocious. It's all bite-sized quotations from the article -- honestly, I can't recall seeing that many quotation marks in one short article -- without much actual analysis of what Wolff is actually saying in the article. They would have been better off just linking to the article. Also, whatever any of us may think about Wolff -- and I am not a Marxist -- he is an expert on economics, not an "expert" (the "so-called" is silent there), because he is an economist with a pretty impressive background (Harvard, Yale, Stanford) even if his economic philosophy is based in Marxism.

 

But going back to what I was saying about my own college grading experience, what if the question is just, "what are grades worth?" Ignore the messenger, and ignore the wrapper that grades are somehow an accomplice to capitalism (which I agree is just... dumb). What is the worth of a grade? Is it worth more to the student, or to the institution getting it, or to an employer/graduate school? That's a more interesting question to me at least. I have a few letter grades from my time at college, but I never had a GPA. I did some interesting things at college and managed to get a pretty decent job I was interested in before I became a housewife, and now that I'm back in the workforce, my educational background set me up nicely for what I'm doing now. There's room out there for out of the box and out of the grade thinking. :) 

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52 minutes ago, laylalex said:

Actually, Wolff is not just known to promote Marxism and condemn capitalism... he IS a Marxist! :lol: The writing in that article (the one for Campus Reform, not Wolff's article) is atrocious. It's all bite-sized quotations from the article -- honestly, I can't recall seeing that many quotation marks in one short article -- without much actual analysis of what Wolff is actually saying in the article. They would have been better off just linking to the article. Also, whatever any of us may think about Wolff -- and I am not a Marxist -- he is an expert on economics, not an "expert" (the "so-called" is silent there), because he is an economist with a pretty impressive background (Harvard, Yale, Stanford) even if his economic philosophy is based in Marxism.

 

But going back to what I was saying about my own college grading experience, what if the question is just, "what are grades worth?" Ignore the messenger, and ignore the wrapper that grades are somehow an accomplice to capitalism (which I agree is just... dumb). What is the worth of a grade? Is it worth more to the student, or to the institution getting it, or to an employer/graduate school? That's a more interesting question to me at least. I have a few letter grades from my time at college, but I never had a GPA. I did some interesting things at college and managed to get a pretty decent job I was interested in before I became a housewife, and now that I'm back in the workforce, my educational background set me up nicely for what I'm doing now. There's room out there for out of the box and out of the grade thinking. :) 

let's put it this way:  would you want your brain surgeon to have c's or a's?


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Well, it does bring to mind the old joke my dad is fond of telling:

 

What do you call the person who graduates last in the class? Doctor.

 

(My dad is a lawyer, my mom is a doctor, and he particularly likes to tell her this one.)

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7 minutes ago, laylalex said:

Well, it does bring to mind the old joke my dad is fond of telling:

 

What do you call the person who graduates last in the class? Doctor.

 

(My dad is a lawyer, my mom is a doctor, and he particularly likes to tell her this one.)

There is a modicum of logic in that.

 

However, I learned at an early age that those who graduate newr the top of the class have more opportunities in life, so I worked my butt off and always strived to be #1.  And yes, it DOES make a difference.

 

Removing the grading system would be a huge mistake.

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2 minutes ago, ALFKAD said:

There is a modicum of logic in that.

 

However, I learned at an early age that those who graduate newr the top of the class have more opportunities in life, so I worked my butt off and always strived to be #1.  And yes, it DOES make a difference.

 

Removing the grading system would be a huge mistake.

I mean, I get you but at the same time I had an experience at college where we didn't have to have grades if we didn't want to (for the most part) and we didn't have GPAs. It's within the top 20 universities consistently. 

 

At the same time, when I was in high school, I worked HARD and got excellent grades (which is how I got to where I was for college), excellent scores on standardized tests, etc. It was what I needed to get to college. And I didn't exactly coast when I got there, at least for the first couple of years. Junior year I was abroad, and we received percentage grading there which was not very similar to the US system (i.e., if you got a 70%, you did fantastic - what?). Senior year was kind of a write off -- I didn't deal well with having a LDR and it completely distracted me from school. I am pretty sure if I could have just knitted and drank wine and chain smoked (happily gave up the last one!) for a grade I would have gotten an A. I still managed to do just fine in the end, and having the flexibility of taking classes essentially just for credit saved my butt from losing the plot completely. I pulled it together in the spring and got back on track. I wasn't suddenly a moron in my senior year, I just had a lot going on and was unable to cope.

 

I think it's fair to say that the grading system isn't the only way to approach assessments, that's all. I'm not going to fight ya for it though. :P 

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Grades are there for a reason. But it would be better if teachers could actually teach - if they are burdened by grading papers perhaps this job isn't for them? I have more of a problem with certain kinds of testing that don't actually help the student or textbooks and teachers that don't recognize some tend to learn a little bit differently than others. I remember my husband working his butt off in uni, but he was stuck in with a group of slackers for the 'final group project'. No one did any work but him, and since they couldn't keep up the eventual grade was down.

 

2 hours ago, Ban Hammer said:

let's put it this way:  would you want your brain surgeon to have c's or a's?

I don't know what sort of student the brain surgeon my dad needed was back in med school. Don't care either. The guy is top notch in his field and that's just fine for me. That's the way I look at most doctors. I assume that you could be the best surgeon in the world but still be a poor student at some point in your life. Hopefully most apply themselves in some way.


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14 hours ago, missileman said:

"Wolff has been known to promote Marxism and condemn capitalism"........."Grades Are Capitalism in Action. Let’s Get Them Out of Our Schools.".......

He doesn't sound lazy to me.....He sounds like a socialist loon.

Actually, socialism tends to breed laziness.


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I don't really see how grades are a capitalism thing... Other than they help you to sell yourself better

 

And they did have grades in the Soviet Union


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