Showing posts from January, 2020

To B or not to B...Is that Really the Question?

A few years ago I visited my doctor for what I hoped would be a mid-life appraisal of my health. I should say “the doctors”, since several of them assessed different parts of me over the course of a couple months. A few weeks later, I got my grade in the mail: B-. Around that time I reached out to my financial advisor to check in on the plan we’d designed the year before. I wanted to learn how well my portfolio had been performing, so she sent me an average of the year’s performance: C+. These two anecdotes are true, except for the grade part, of course. When it comes to our health and our finances, we expect a whole lot more than a single letter to communicate what’s working and what needs work. And this is the purpose of proficiency-based grading: to convey to learners, their families, and others what a single grade cannot--the learners’ current level of performance with each of the specific performance criteria used to determine the grade. But the power of the single-lette