Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Effort Points

Elementary schoolers in some states across the US found a new components on their score sheet: the effort points. It works this way: the correct answer of a question no longer worth a full grade. Instead, for a 100 points question, you earn 50 points for correctly answering it, and the next 50 points are assigned based on how hard you tried. If you failed to demonstrate that you were struggling, you would get nothing.

For example, if a student turn in his sheet 20 minutes into a 40 minutes test, even if he correctly answered all questions, he will only earn 50 points because he did not make 'efforts'. On the other hand, another student who only answered 5% of the questions, but stayed to the end will receive 50 points of effort points plus 2.5 points, thus a higher grade of 52.5 points. In the end the student who knows 5% of the answers go to a better college than the one who solved 100% of the test.

The 'Effort Points' is yet another attempt to make sure every child educated to equal stupidity, if their parents can not afford private school education.

In addition to wide range policies, some schools and teachers are becoming creative to accomplish their mission of ultimate equal stupidity. One teacher discovered that the reason her student did not score well was because they did not do homework, which is a component in the whole evaluation. Her decision was to stop assigning homework, so no student in her class will lose points on homework. This method was praised as a successful model and encouraged by policy makers and education leaders to other teachers.

The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article, Employers and Public Favor Graduates Who Can Communicate, Survey Finds. It's such a relieve to realize the problem started from the society, when even employers care less about productivity.

And we will win the global competition with countries such as China, India, Korea and Japan, where students are assessed on their scientific and engineering capabilities. Yeah right, as long as we communicate it in the right way, people will believe in it.

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