Cover image for What's an "A" anyway : how important are grades
What's an "A" anyway : how important are grades
Terkel, Marni.
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Publication Information:
New York : Franklin Watts, [2001]

Physical Description:
143 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB3051 .T39 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Why do grades matter so much? Should they? What's an A Anyway? offers a fascinating and balanced look at the subject of grades. The authors include a history of grading and discuss topics such as students' anxiety over testing, their problems with underachievement, and their cheating. They describe what it's like to attend a school that has no grades. This book provides tips on how to improve study habits and it helps students develop a healthy perspective on grades.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 8-12. Given our obsession with ranking, from the Fortune 500 to People's 50 most beautiful people, it's not hard, note the authors, to see why the educational system has adopted the practice. This thorough examination looks at a variety of ranking-related issues in schools--among them, the effect of grading on curriculum and performance, multiple intelligences, grade inflation, and schools that don't give grades. There are even some study and homework tips. Readers may be surprised by some of the research cited, including a study of millionaires that found honesty, discipline, and a cooperative nature better predictors of success than high grades or SAT scores. This book won't turn advanced placement students into slackers, but it may help ease the pressure on those teens that see being named class valedictorian as the only path to a bright future. A solid resource on a topic that is important to students but rarely addressed at their level. Notes, a glossary, and a bibliography are appended. --Randy Meyer

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Students who have questioned a teacher's fairness or suffered a parent's wrath over a report card will relate to this book. The authors take a hard look at the history and effectiveness of giving letter grades, which is far from an exact science. (In one study for which 138 teachers were asked to mark the same student's geometry test, the results ranged from A to F.) One particularly fascinating chapter reports on schools and colleges that use alternatives such as portfolios and written evaluations. Other chapters deal with cheating, test-taking anxiety, grading on the curve, and grade inflation. As the authors point out, while marks aren't everything, in our society they matter. The last few chapters aim to help students raise their averages with better study and personal habits. While accompanied by frequent reminders to keep grades in perspective, these chapters somewhat undermine the points made earlier. The black-and-white pictures of diverse groups of students are adequate. Still, interested teens will find plenty of ammunition here.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.