chapter  7
Prospects for Improving Grades for Use in Admissions
WithWarren W. Willingham
Pages 14

Classroom grading is time-honored because grades offer obvious benefits to education. When teaching and grading work well, grades serve as a direct connection between learning goals and learning outcomes and provide immediate feedback on the results of student effort. Although grading may have more value to schooling than we are inclined to credit, the value is often poorly realized. Routine complaints about the shortcomings of grading are familiar enough: the unintended negative effects on learning, the difficulty of focusing instruction and grading on important educational outcomes, the challenge of maintaining fair standards, and the threat of capricious or biased judgment in assigning grades (Milton, Pollio, & Eison, 1986; Terwilliger, 1989). For centuries, educators have cited such problems and argued over the very purpose of grades and how they are used (Cureton, 1971).