Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Grades, of Students
James W. Keefe
The primary purpose of student grading and grade reporting is to communicate student achievement and progress in learning. Student grades have two purposes: to give information and to serve as a substitute for pay. Actually, grades can serve several purposes: an administrative function, to establish a permanent record of student achievement; a guidance function, to determine strengths, weaknesses, and needed goals and skills; a communication function, to provide information to students, teachers, parents, and others; and a motivational function, as a reward or sanction. In the days of the one-room schoolhouse, before 1850, student progress in learning was usually reported orally to parents during a home visit by the teacher. The appearance of graded schools in the late 1800s saw the introduction of simple narrative reports of skills that students had mastered and work that still needed to be done. Percentage and letter grades were first used for subject-area grading ...