[Reader-list] Making the Grade: CBSE's big switch from marks to grades

subhrodip sengupta sub_sengupta at yahoo.co.in
Sat Mar 27 13:11:29 IST 2010

Dear Girish,
Good move, when it comes to securing the precious lives of children, than concentrating on papers that do not reflect the chil'ds ability to work under pressurised circumstances like being pressed for time
. Someone said that Revolution had an internal aspect, self critique as well. Though. such moves are welcome, would force the system to find out healthier alternatives regarding selection criterion, admission etc.; more practical problems persist and one might just refer to local newspapers if not simply think, for for some thinking is like dreaming. For example Ugc's guidelines to paper disclosure is still a dream, when it comes to the very University of Delhi.

Some thing on CBSE I didn't like:


U do know, CBSE is still elite concentrated, paper checkers can tell by sample of 'mugged up' answers from which school the paper has come in Delhi, for the scripts of 'good' schools go to 'good schools'.
I have lost the meaning of good and bad a while ago, it seems void to me, in case u still have it.............................
Still, the grading system would place emphasis on getting into so-called best elite institutions, and I fear Schools name might get in front of all this. When shall we start having public reports of student surveys regarding precise training etc?
Till then we may have tell tales, YO! Why not go on to reduce the stressors in the system, ensure comfortortable exams and give protective feeling to the children, prectical trainings etc., ensure proper activity span other than exams(and see it is not elite based acitivities, we have IB board in India, already!) so that the feeling of all is lost does not persisist?
For example, clearing a professional exam itself is a matter of pride, but when placed in wrong situation a child may feel all is lost simply beacuse his hard work didn't allow him to get a rank, a top seat. Incentives to further competitions are thus lost............ What would happen if we had more in number and more often exams, like continuous evelution say every six months. Bad news for some, but would it change our outlook in the future? 

From: Chintan <chintangirishmodi at gmail.com>
To: sarai list <reader-list at sarai.net>
Sent: Fri, 26 March, 2010 10:32:46 PM
Subject: [Reader-list] Making the Grade: CBSE's big switch from marks to grades

From http://www.teacherplus.org/cover-story/making-the-grade

Excerpts from the article:

"The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)’s new mandate on continuous
and comprehensive evaluation requiring schools to make a shift from marks to
grades is meeting with a mixed response. While on the one hand, there is
relief and even celebration, there’s uncertainty and skepticism on the
other. We spoke with a few people to get a sense of how the change is being

"Grades are being seen as a healthier alternative to marks, because grades
do not equate the child’s capability with a number that might provide an
incomplete picture of the child’s attainment levels."

"The CBSE’s new grading scheme will take into account a child’s
participation in extra-curricular activities, life skills, attitudes and
values, along with his or her performance in academic subjects. How one can
award grades for ‘honesty’, ‘respect towards teachers’, ‘emotional skills’,
‘creative thinking’, ‘ability to handle criticism’ is something worth
mulling over."

"Sure, one can produce a list of indicators that attempt to place controls
on teachers’ subjectivity, or even ensure grading by multiple teachers.
However, is it even desirable to grade all of these things in the first
place, and artificially produce normative behaviour? Would such grading
create another kind of pressure – the pressure to be seen as a well-behaved,
law-abiding, goody-two-shoes student, for without it one’s grade sheet would
make a sorry picture?"

"The switch from grades to marks necessitates a change in teachers’
attitudes as well as administrative procedures. And this change can be
unsettling on several counts – the subjectivity involved in awarding a
grade, the maintenance of elaborate records, working with colleagues to
mutually decide upon a grade, giving up the idea of using a number/mark to
sum up a child’s performance, and the sudden increase in workload. Any
teacher training programmes that seek to initiate teachers into the new
grading system must take these issues into consideration."
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