(Mom - you read this - that's accurate, right? I'd hate to think I've been incorrectly remembering this bedrock story of my nature for all these years.)
Is it a negative reflection on my work ethic that, even at the tender age of 9, I didn't see the value of bending over backwards when a simple arm movement would do the trick just fine. Some call it lazy, I call it efficient. I wasn't some rock-star genius, but I seemed to do just fine with a certain level of effort and more effort was only warranted when needed or when I really took an interest in something. I think I'm just following the basic laws of physics.
Apparently, however, the world is ass-backwards on this effort/achievement split as 'Students Pretty Much Expect B's For Breathing.'
I think this is where the effort grade has ruined our culture. It's a consolation prize: sorry little Johnny, you're papier mache greek god just wasn't that great and you can't do pre-algebra, but you tried SO HARD, so here's something to make you feel better. Whaa?
One college senior says:
"I think putting in a lot of effort should merit a high grade," Mr. Greenwood said. "What else is there really than the effort that you put in?"What else is there besides effort? ACHIEVEMENT? RESULTS? The correct answer, maybe? If you put in your best effort and you get a C, congrats, you're a C student. Bonus, you could still be president (if you're from an oil-rich, well connected family, anyway). You should not get an A for effort. That's the wrong way to reward struggle.
"If you put in all the effort you have and get a C, what is the point?" he added. "If someone goes to every class and reads every chapter in the book and does everything the teacher asks of them and more, then they should be getting an A like their effort deserves. If your maximum effort can only be average in a teacher's mind, then something is wrong."
The linked-to Jezebel post asks whether we're too soft AND too hard on kids: too-hard coming with the focus on grades.
Well, let's focus on the actual Achievement part, right? Skip the letters completely. Does little Johnny know ANYTHING by the time finals come around? If not, no dice. If so, then he should be awarded a mark or an evaluation consistent with that achievement.