A couple problems contribute to the inappropriate use of the 100-point scale.
One is how we use it to calculate percentage grades. The other is the disproportionate weight that zeros have on grades.
First, this blog post raises the concern of calculating percentages to determine students' averages. Consider the problems described and whether you agree or disagree with them.
Second, Rick Wormeli does a fabulous job of breaking down a number of the difficulties with the 100-point scale and, in particular, giving zeros on this scale.
If you are a parent, then what questions does this make you want to ask?
If you are a teacher, how would you respond to the claims made in Rob Eberts' blog and Rick Wormeli's video?
One final thought about taking on the 100-point scale. It may seem impossible to address something so embedded in our assessment practices. The 100-point scale is easily accepted as part of our educational system by parents, teachers, and students alike. Why mess with a "good" thing?
Consider this. If it such a good practice, then why it is abandoned by both "ends" of most educational institutions? None of the schools where I live use it when children are starting out in preschool or early elementary grade levels. On the other end, college students have used 4, 5, or 6-point scales for years. I realize those numbers are sometimes nothing more than conversions from a 100-point scale, but I wonder what the original intent was for doing it that way.
I am not arguing that we should model our education programs or policies after any of these nations or even our own American university system, which is fraught with its own problems. The point is to show that there is nothing sacred about the 100-point scale. It is flawed and we can do better for our kids!
As I write this blog, the Winter Olympics are going on in Sochi, Russia. At least maybe the 100-point scale is all they use there. Oh, wait, that's right...oops!