My own experience indicates that the average college student is more concerned with grades than with learning. Therefore grades are more of an impediment to learning than they are an accurate measure of it. Scoring well on tests is not an indication of comprehension of complex ideas or the thought processes behind them. Nevertheless, test scores are the Holy Grail of the school reform movement that is sweeping the country as part of a political agenda to privatize the public domain and put it under absolute corporate control.
Right-wing politicians of the Republican and Democratic parties are wrecking what remains of the public education system. They have been doing so for decades. Some of them are castigating it as socialist. Under the guise of reform, a movement is afoot to under fund public schools and replace them with ‘for profit’ charter schools. Firing qualified teachers and busting teachers unions is part of the process. College and University education is being priced out of the reach of working class people. We are witnessing the death of the liberal arts. The war on public education is a front in the broader class war that pits workers against owners and the working class against the wealthy.