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Grades Are a Tool of the Past

  • Date Submitted: 07/27/2010 08:36 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.6 
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Grades Are A Tool Of The Past
One thing we know for sure is that grades are important. Our parents reward us when we ace exams, and so we have been conditioned to think that scoring As in school are important achievements worthy of our time. And for the most part, this is true: the approval of our peers and our parents and our teachers depend largely on our grades. So grades do matter. But there's an interesting assumption to examine here: why do grades matter so much? Are they still as important now as they were 50 years ago? And perhaps - more importantly - why do so many of us accept grades as the de facto indicator of ability, without ever questioning the underlying logic of our grading systems?
I've been thinking about these questions for some time now, and I think I've come to some reasonable conclusions about them. My contention is that grades are no longer as important as they once were, and the implications from this idea are rather exciting, and scary, both at once.
It would be wrong to say that companies have wised up to the inaccuracy of grades. For the large part, this change has been due to a shift in economics as opposed to a conscious, calculated decision by market leaders.
The global economy today favors smaller companies over big ones. There are many reasons for this, but the basic ones are obvious: due to globalization and cheaper logistics, it now makes more sense for companies to outsource some tasks in order to stay focused on their core competencies. This has been a relatively new phenomenon. Never before has a smaller company been able to take on a bigger company - and win (Mazulio   1).
If you don't believe me, consider: in the past, railways would purchase steel refineries to manufacture the steel required for their operations; today, it outsources such operations to external - often international - companies. And this is but one example, in what is a remarkably outdated industry. The effects are far stronger and more powerful in...


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