Since I incorporated an electronic grading program six years ago, my approach to grading has been positively received by parents. Foremost, parents realize the grading system I employ is not arbitrary or capricious. They understand that numerous elements that can be objectively monitored go into their son or daughter's quarterly grade. During conferences, a printout that contains their child's categorized grades readily pinpoints any specific area of concern for discussion. With upward of 125 students, it also helps me maintain my focus in parent conferences.
Peer grading does not teach students how to assist and respect one another; students treat one another with respect because their parents and teachers insist that they do. Apparently that didn't happen in this case -- the student in question here was ridiculed for his grade and called a "dummy" by his fellow pupils. When it comes to real kids (When was the last time a Supreme Court Justice was actually in a public school classroom?), peer grading teaches them that some assignments don't matter; that they don't have to work too hard on those assignments because the teacher will never see them anyway; and that they can ease their embarrassment about their own errors by teasing those whose scores are a little lower -- or significantly higher -- than their own.
To build a foundation for college and career readiness in language, students must gain control over many conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics as well as learn other ways to use language to convey meaning effectively. They must also be able to determine or clarify the meaning of grade-appropriate words encountered through listening, reading, and media use; come to appreciate that words have nonliteral meanings, shadings of meaning, and relationships to other words; and expand their vocabulary in the course of studying content. The inclusion of Language standards in their own strand should not be taken as an indication that skills related to conventions, effective language use, and vocabulary are unimportant to reading, writing, speaking, and listening; indeed, they are inseparable from such contexts.