Formal education is one of the last outright meritocracies run by the government, mirroring the “qualifications” model employed by the private sector, which pays little attention to identity politics, social justice or greater societal issues. In both schools and universities, students are awarded a wide range of grades based on how how accurate their answers in exams and assignments are, which only serves to draw dividing lines between those with higher scores and those with lower scores. This creates a mini system of oppression, where those with higher grades are viewed as more intelligent than those with lower grades, even though everyone with a grade above the pass mark (usually 40%) has passed. This only serves to reaffirm peoples’ perceptions of the intelligence of themselves and others, and to destroy the confidence of those who receive lower grades. The solution to this problem, in my opinion, is to do away with grades altogether, and simply award each student a pass or a fail.
With only passes and fails, there will be no distinction between someone who scores 90%, and someone who scores 40%. Both will be equal, and the student with the 90% score will receive a knock to his self-confidence, whereas the student with 40% will receive a boost to his self-confidence and will believe that he is equal to the student with 90%. This confidence-balancing will remove the grade-induced placebo effect, which reaffirms peoples’ prejudices about intelligence. Studies have shown that African American students score lower than whites and Asians because society has convinced them that they are less adept at abstract thinking and reasoning. Once we remove these false ideas from society, and stop reaffirming them with grades, the confidence and self-belief of under-performing minorities will drastically improve and contribute to better test scores, which will simply be converted to more passes.
Racist employers will then have no excuse to discriminate against these minority groups, and will have to hire them in equal numbers to whites and Asians, and in greater numbers if diversity quotas are involved. Not hiring equal numbers of them will be quickly condemned as unjust discrimination, because all of these students will have near 100% pass rates, and there will be no other grades to judge them on.
Conservatives will argue that this will cause the Dunning-Kruger effect on steroids, giving people with less intelligence infinitely more confidence, while causing the more intelligent students to question and doubt themselves. But these are just closet racists who don’t want minorities to succeed. The fact is, every human is equal to every other human, and grading systems which try to establish superiority in any discipline only reinforce the backward idea that some people are “better” at certain things than others, which we know from progressivism is simply not true, because everything is a social construct. It’s time to do away with grades once and for all, and make our education system truly egalitarian.