May 2010 Your Turn

Learning trumps time

Should we do away with grades and go to a totally performance-based system? Most of you (52 percent) said you’d give it a try but note that “there are many problems to consider.”

Another 30 percent are even more positive about grade-free school, agreeing that it’s an “excellent idea.”

“We must find ways for schools to fit our students; not have our students fit our schools,” said Mike Ford, a superintendent from New York state. “Schools must be about learning, not time requirements, not grades, not compliance. Until we realize that school is fundamentally about learning, we will continue to grow irrelevant in the lives of our kids who are learning without us.”

Conversely, 9 percent of you said that moving away from a grade-based system was a bad idea. And another 9 percent marked, “none of the above.”

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