Bavarian teachers’ association calls for reform of the grading system: AI makes grades superfluous

Artificial intelligence

The logo of OpenAI, the manufacturer of ChatGPT: The people in Germany see artificial intelligence as the most important future digital technology.
With the advance of artificial intelligence (AI), the Bavarian Teachers’ Association (BLLV) calls for a reform of the classic grading system. © Richard Drew/AP/dpa

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With the advance of artificial intelligence (AI), the Bavarian Teachers’ Association (BLLV) is calling for a reform of the classic grading system – and fast.

“I believe that the rapid development of AI does not allow us to slowly advance performance evaluation. We have to realize that our performance system is old school,” said BLLV President Simone Fleischmann of the German Press Agency in Munich.

On Friday it became known that some Hamburg students are suspected of having cheated in exams for the Abitur with the help of programs with artificial intelligence and of having used ChatGPT. According to the Ministry of Education, there are no such suspected cases in school-leaving exams in Bavaria.

Skepticism from Bavaria’s Minister of Education

“The nature of our school system, the system logic, is now reaching its limit. That has to do with the fact that we simply stood still,” criticized Fleischmann. “We still want to select, sort out, give grades. But in future we will have to assess the processes and not the result.”

Bavaria’s Minister of Education is skeptical about the demand. Michael Piazolo (Free Voters) does not want to do without grades at school in the future either. «I believe that we need grades and that many students want grades. You need proof of performance to know for yourself how you stand in the individual subjects, »he told the German Press Agency on Saturday.

The Association of German Secondary School Teachers (VDR) doesn’t think much of the demand either: “Grades and AI are mutually exclusive? It is not clear what logic lies behind this supposed statement,” said Jürgen Böhm, chairman of the VDR. “Should grades be abolished just because digital devices were not checked during exams in Hamburg? At least since the graphics-capable calculator, it has been the responsibility of the ministries and ultimately teachers to take special precautions during examinations.”


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