New Schools, No Grades

Think about what it would be like if our schools had no grades, no tests, no quizzes, and almost no homework. Sounds like a dream for students and perhaps for some of us teachers as well right? Well, these types of Dream schools are popping up across the United States recently, and they seem to offer their students something that every teacher wishes for their students to have: a passion for learning.

The MET school in Providence R.I. is one of these schools. They boast that 80% of their graduates continue on to an accredited college or university with the majority of that population graduating within five years from those institutions.

But just how do they get to college if they are given no tests? How are they assessed?

Along with the community, these students create projects alongside their school advisor and a mentor from the community with whom they work through an internship. After experiencing the real world learning environment hands on, they present their projects orally along with a written portfolio which is then given approval by the advisor. This form of assessment happens after every nine weeks.

Once the student becomes a senior, they are expected to complete the same standardized testing requirements to enter into the college or university level. According to their statistics, they usually earn a higher score on these tests than the other two Rhode Island public school systems.

Numerous schools are adopting this model of no grades and no tests and opting for a more hands-on, real world approach to learning. In Newark, they are proposing the No grades based schools for alternative education students.  Compass Rose Academy, a private school of Florida is also going the no grade route to enrich their students learning. These are just a couple of schools who have decided to go through with this model. Several more are looming in wait to see just how these systems pan out in the future.

The question I pose to educators in regard to this new model is, is it beneficial? Furthermore, is it Christian? After all, Jesus didn’t use worksheets, but He did speak of a “final test.”

Live Jesus in our hearts forever!

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