Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

July 23, 2013

MAUREEN HAYDEN: Grit Scale test could foretell student success

Is perseverance more important than IQ?

(Continued)

In still another study of Ivy League students, Duckworth found the grittiest students, not the smartest ones, had the highest GPAs.

Rent wants to use the Grit Scale test in the way that all good assessment tests should be: as a way to measure where students are, so you can help them get to where they need to be. It means tutoring a kid in perseverance becomes as important as tutoring a kid in math.

Here’s another measure Rent wants to add this year at his school. In addition to tracking a student’s GPA, Rent wants to start tracking a student’s CPA: character-point average.

The CPA is still a work in progress, Rent said, but initially it will be based on a student’s attendance and tardiness record, the number of disciplinary referrals from teachers, and the student’s GPA.

These aren’t novel ideas. They’re already being implemented by some charter high schools in other states, tracking progress of their graduates who are at-risk for dropping out of college. Guess what they found? The students who stayed in college were not necessarily the ones who had excelled academically in high school; they were the ones who had persistence, optimism and social intelligence. They may have failed a test or even a course, but they knew how to bounce back.

They had character and grit.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for CNHI newspapers in Indiana, including the Kokomo Tribune. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

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