If grades are meant to convey information about academic achievement and promote student growth, we need to reevaluate our grading system.
One major shortcoming of traditional report cards is the use of single letter grades for each course, a format used by the vast majority of school districts that seldom conveys useful feedback about student performance. Research indicates that teachers calculate their final letter grade based on a multitude of factors including tests, projects, work habits, homework completion and class participation. Because teachers, even within the same school, vary their emphasis on these variables, interpreting the meaning of a final letter grade becomes difficult.
Another flaw in most report cards is that they rarely include explicit information about non-cognitive factors, such as grit and resiliency. University of Pennsylvania Professor Angela Duckworth, among other researchers, emphasizes that the possession or absence of grit serves as a much better predictor of academic achievement than IQ tests, standardized test scores and other traditional measures of intelligence.