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Schools should have a pass/fail grading system on core subjects

Schools spend too much energy distinguishing between scores like 85% and 95% under the false pretense that the difference is meaningful. Perhaps high school (and lower) educations should be about meeting minimum standards for fluency in a subject. I suggest using today's C+/B- as the bar.

Our schools try to create subject matter experts in subjects which matter little to success in life. We can, of course, offer any number of rigorous, grade-based courses for those interested.

However, the objective should be to impart the knowledge needed to be productive and informed participants of our communities.


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  • May 11 2013: Seems like just another step in the "dumbing-down" of America. Core subjects (history, civics, music, art, chemistry, physics, math, et. al.) may not lead directly to the acquisition of wealth, but are essential to an understanding of the world surrounding us. An A+ on your Javascript test might boost your income, but what good is that if you haven't read the Federalist Papers? Critical reasoning can only be achieved by thorough immersion in core subjects; subjects which won't necessarily help you get an MBA. The purpose of education is NOT to acquire more money...that's vocational training.

    95% versus 85% is indeed a meaningful difference when it comes to understanding why 9/11 happened,
    why the Westboro Baptist Church exists, why we let our respresentatives be bought and vote against our own interests, why we let ourselves be so easily influenced by Fox News sound bites. It is also extremely important to TED viewers. I want to hear and reflect on what the A+ speakers have to say; not the mediocre C+ students. We had plently of that from Bush junior.

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