It’s time to end our obsession with standardized testing and grade point averages. We’ve spent the better part of the last two decades — with an almost myopic focus — trying to improve these measures across our educational system. Despite national efforts to raise test scores through initiatives such as No Child Left Behind, there has been little-to-no improvement in scores. We have also witnessed rampant grade inflation, with average college GPAs, for example, rising from 2.3 to 3.2 in the past few decades, making their value suspect.
In the meantime, a mountain of evidence and sentiment is building that these measures may not be very strong predictors of success, and that other measures — like student engagement and hope — may be much better.