Skip to main content

Why perfect grades don't matter


24,371 Questions Answered

Best of Web

Let’s Begin…

Most American students strive for a 4.0 GPA and the highest test scores, but research shows that this quest for perfection actually discourages creativity and reduces academic risk-taking. In this episode of “School Myths” by The Atlantic, Alice Roth investigates why grades aren’t everything when it comes to education.

Additional Resources for you to Explore


To learn more about the role of standardized testing in education, see W. James Popham’s seminal 2001 work, The Truth About Testing: An Educator’s Call to Action (New York, ASCD).

To learn more about how standardized testing is impacting classrooms and teaching in the US and Canada, see Arlo Kempf’s (2016), The Pedagogy of Standardized Testing: The Radical Impacts of Educational Standardization in the US and Canada (New York, Palgrave).

To learn more about how validity and reliability work when interpreting standardized tests results, see Thorndike & Thorndike-Christ’s (2010), Measurement and Evaluation in Psychology and Education (8th ed.) (NJ, Pearson).

Recommended TED-Ed Videos

Should we get rid of standardized testing? - Arlo Kempf
The power of creative constraints - Brandon Rodriguez

Next Section »

About TED-Ed Best of Web

TED-Ed Best of Web are exceptional, user-created lessons that are carefully selected by volunteer teachers and TED-Ed staff.

Meet The Creators

More from Things They Don't Teach in School But Should