Grades are important. With pass or fail, there is no motivation to do better, but instead to only do good enough. A new grading policy that replaces letter grades with pass or fail will not help, but hurt students in the long run.
Letter grades promote students to do well in school whereas pass or fail would create laziness. With letter grades, it is easy for students to look at their weak and strong points. Realizing your weak points helps recognize the strong ones. With the new pass or fail grading system, it would leave no room for improvements because many students would not strive to do much better than mediocre. These children would feel more obligated to pass than improve. With pass or fail taking over the letter grading system, the mentality and capability of many students will most likely deteriorate.
Pass or fail offers a very vague understanding of a students intelligence. It does not reward nor benefit the more intelligent ones. This system would simply send an unclear message to students and their ability to strive for more rather than just pass. Colleges would have no way of telling weather a student was a good student over a bad one. It would be hard for them to initiate or accept students without the proper grading rubric or system. Pass or fail over a letter grade does not do justice to the ability of many students and how intelligent they might be.
The effort of many students in middle school and high school is based on the fact that they are required to pass to graduate. Less effort would be put into work and tests if the goal was only to pass. Some students would still work hard and do as well they could, but they would not be rewarded for their efforts. These students wouldn't feel challenged enough. It would be very unfair to the ones who...