Hey Mark, great to have you back writing again.
I absolutely agree with your intuition that social media, grading, testing, and standardization are part of the same phenomenon. You tease out some of those connections, but I think that some of this just remains in our blind spot right now. Your mention of the immensity of the…
Glad to make the connection. It’s been years since I taught middle school, but honestly I think it would in some ways be easier. Up here, there’s a lot of rhetoric about “gotta get ’em ready for college,” as if toxic grading practices spur kids to acquire more of the skills and knowledge they’ll need.
I think it’s a great idea to give a handcrafted introduction to your kids. I also teach at an extremely grade-, GPA-, and test-driven school, so I know what you’re up against.
Here’s a linked letter that I have used in the past. The interesting finding is that going gradeless —focusing…