Montgomery County grading system misses the mark

October 5, 2012

Regarding the Oct. 2 Metro article “Montgomery pupils have new report-card goal: Straight ES’s”:

What’s this nonsense all about? No matter what Ebony Langford-Brown, the school district’s director of elementary instruction and achievement, claims, there seems to be no difference between the new grades — ES, P, I and N — and the old A, B, C and D. They are simply different letters to say the same thing. The theory here, I guess, is that if you make a change, however inconsequential, people will think you are making progress.

The keys to improving student performance lie not in changing the way teachers grade but in factors such as early childhood education; teachers who motivate students; children who are not addicted to time-consuming, worthless and destructive activities; and parents who are involved. A horse by any other name is still a horse.

Robert Hauptman, Silver Spring

Please tell me that The Post’s article on Montgomery County’s new grading policy was a spoof. “ES” means “exceptional” only to Exceptionally Silly people who have too much time and money on their hands. If the goal is to provide parents with a more complete picture of their children’s academic progress, that information could be supplied in a narrative supplement to conventional grades. Whoever came up with this hare-brained idea deserves an old-fashioned F.

Mari-Anne Pisarri, Silver Spring

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