Did you ever receive an F on your schoolwork? It meant you failed, utterly. Written in red pen in your teacher’s impatient hand, it was accompanied by the uneasy message See Me on the top of the paper.
Perhaps your teacher handed the papers back in order of grades from A to F, with the Fs at the bottom of the pile. As if failure wasn’t bad enough, a measure of public shaming came with it.
Teachers today know better. We know more about how children learn and that there are many different ways to learn. Teachers don’t use red pens any more because they convey shame. And if your child attends a more progressive school, they aren’t labeled as academic failures. They are “Just Beginning” to grasp a concept.
Just Beginning is far more useful assessment, I think, because it conveys a range of understanding. We know the student will understand with a different approach, continued encouragement, and practice.