In “A Proposal To Abolish Grading” by Paul Goodman, the author informs the readers about the ideas of nullifying the policy of grading and judging students solely by exams. The writer believes that grading depreciates teaching and creates a bad spirit, leading to cheating and/or plagiarizing. Although majority of the professors agree, some people also question the idea. “How else will the graduate schools, the foundations, the corporations know whom to accept, reward, hire?
How will the talent scouts know who to tap? ” (line 8-10)Again, Goodman answers, “by testing the applicants, of course. ” Dean Whitla easily counters this by proposing Harvard University’s very own, unique admission system. “The objection is ludicrous,” Goodman says. Although the author’s claim is potent, there are elements of th issue to agree and disagree about. Paul Goodman states and supports his claim clearly throughout his proposal and does a good job of cancelling out the opposing side’s argument. In the medieval university, the whole point of the grueling trial of the candidate was whether or not to accept him as a peer.... It was certainly not to pit one young fellow against another in an ugly competition. ” (line 27-29) Goodman’s comparison of the medieval times to now supports his claim that if the goal for testing nowadays is to find out people’s weakness, then what’s the point? Although it is somewhat true, how does Goodman, or anyone for that matter, for sure know that that is the aim? One can only testify.
Goodman’s overall declaration to abolish grading sounds spiffy and an all-around good idea. His thought that it can lead to cheating and plagiarizing is an on-point proposal that anyone could agree on. “.. great majority of professors agree that grading hinders teaching and creates a bad spirit, going as far as cheating and plagiarizing. ” For instance, homework. Many students can copy other someone else’s in result of not learning anything. He also mentioned that grading only creates ‘cliques,’ segregating the “smart” students and the “not so smart” ones.
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It also creates competition between each one since everybody wants to obtain the highest grade. What is this all going to lead to? Nothing but just competition. It invalidates the purpose of going to school-- to achieve education. Goodman’s suggestion to base students on their test scores can be the good, but last resort. Testing decreases the chances of cheating and/or plagiarizing due to the strict supervision when it comes to a serious matter. It will motivate students to study more and take education seriously.
All in all, Goodman’s proposal to abolish grading is a roller coaster ride. Nobody really knows if the goal is to discover students’ weakness, but in reality, testing is a plausible reason to avoid cheating and plagiarizing, and any other bad spirits that may come with. With describing such a common situation, he put forth his claim and provided readers with a back bone to support it. There may be some to disagree to, but there is definitely something to agree with, and it ultimately leads his claim to an upward state.
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