I wish Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr would stop misleading our kids about the world of work.
At an April 11 student town hall meeting at Wheaton High School, Superintendent Starr told his student audience that he didn’t like grades—you know A's, B's, C's, D's, and F's. He also told students that in the real world—the world of work—workers were not graded. Click here to read an account from Bethesda Magazine of what Starr told Wheaton students.
Well, I’m not sure what world of work Starr is talking about, but I did a quick check of three colleagues working at private Washington D.C. firms—all internationally known—and they each grade workers' performance. I’m not going to reveal the names of the companies because I promised not to do so. But via email here is what the three friends wrote:
- Friend No. 1: “We rate people on a five-point scale.”
- Friend No. 2: “There are numerical values across a number of categories—everything is totaled.”
- Friend No. 3: “Employees are rated with four different letter grades across a variety of categories.”
All of this sounds like “school” grades and grading to me. And each friend noted that the ratings are used to promote and award bonuses (cash and/or stocks).
Now, I’m sure I could have found three friends who work where there is no such thing as grading or anything closely resembling "school" grading. Nevertheless, I easily found workplaces that grade. So, I wish Superintendent Starr would stop misleading our kids.