Zero Tolerance for Zeros

Artistic representation of a red circle with cross through the center thrown into a waste basket.

Center for Assessment | July 2022

It’s time to stop pretending we have a “100-Point” Grading Scale.

Grading and grading scales are one of the most ubiquitous aspects of schooling, but it is also one of the most controversial and misunderstood. Why would I say misunderstood? Everyone knows the difference between an A and B, or between 89% and 91%, right? Unfortunately, many people think they do, but they might be surprised to learn their long-standing intuitions and beliefs do not hold up. The recent point-counterpoint playing out in Fordham Institute posts on the use of “zero grades” are a prime example of both the controversies and misunderstandings.

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