Comments rather than grades on student essays

As a former high school English teacher for 28 years, I know how time-consuming evaluating student compositions is.  That’s why anything that lightens the burden is worth seriously considering (“I no longer grade my students’ work – and I wish I had stopped sooner,” The Conversation, Mar. 29). 

When teachers put grades on essays, all that students really care about is the letter grade. Nothing that the teacher writes in the margins is considered.  So if the purpose of having students write is to help them develop the ability to express themselves, why bother to add a grade?  In short, it’s counterproductive. 

Assessing student writing is subjective by its very nature.  Therefore, why bother to waste time assigning a grade?

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