Letters

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Reading grades aloud: Humiliating or not?

Regarding "Does reading grades aloud invade privacy?" (Nov. 27): Perhaps I can offer a solution: Gain a student's permission to have his or her grade read aloud.

For four years I taught junior high, and gave many tests. At the end of each marking period, I read each student's grades so he or she could compute an average, hoping to alleviate any distrust a student might have about the grades I maintained. Also correcting an occasional gradebook inaccuracy, this method worked wonderfully. My principal, the students, and their parents approved highly. I did allow students the option to see their grades privately to avoid embarrassment. Interestingly, it was not always the low-scoring students who opted out.

Dennis Bianco New York

While we need to be sensitive to the potential embarrassment in the reading of grades in class, I am apprehensive about more rules dictating a teacher's style. I am a soccer coach of kindergartners, and while we do not formally keep score, and, in fact, discourage a focus on it, you can be assured most kids on the field know the score anyway.

All we can do is manage that knowledge; teach them to respect the other team when they lose, and encourage them to be good sports. I think there is a happy medium here that is sensitive to the students' emotions, yet prepares them for the world.

John Killeen Weymouth, Mass.

I have no sympathy for the school in question. The practice of publicly announcing grades had the effect of humiliating a student with learning disabilities. Is this a legitimate goal of education? Obviously it is not. I cannot believe the arrogance of the school administration in refusing to accommodate a reasonable request from the parent of the student in this case. In effect, they stated, "We will continue to allow practices in our classes that have a detrimental effect on your child's ability to receive a quality education." What did they think the parent would do?

Garth Sullivan San Francisco

Oral grading can be a positive boost for students, but it is up to the teacher and other students to make it so. …