I’m a bit put off by the “reverse A-D system.”

I teach Marvin Marshall’s Discipline without Stress levels but I’m a bit put off by 
the “reverse A-D system.” D being the best goes so opposite to how we usually think of grades or levels.

Although it’s true that school letter grades and the Discipline without Stress Hierarchy levels are arranged in opposite orders, at my K-6 school we have never experienced any 
confusion with this. I think that’s because we purposely 
do everything we can to keep grades separate from discussion of the Discipline without Stress Hierarchy. The 
two are not connected. Certainly, both provide tools of evaluation, but one is a 
tool of EXternal evaluation and one is a tool of INternal evaluation.

The Hierarchy is a tool meant for use by students to evaluate THEIR OWN 
behavior. (INternal evaluation) It’s not a tool for teachers to evaluate students. Teachers use 
reflective questioning to help students to evaluate THEIR OWN INDIVIDUAL 
ACTIONS with reference to the Hierarchy. No person operates solely on one 
level. Minute by minute we make individual choices. Each choice can be 
assessed by using the Hierarchy and thinking to oneself.

Report card grades on the other hand, are a tool that the teacher uses to assess a student. (EXternal evaluation) Over time, grades are compiled and report card marks are issued. It’s part of 
our teaching job description to evaluate student performance in school.

Because these tools are for meant for expressly different purposes, the teachers at my school find it 
counterproductive to have students think about report card grades in 
conjunction with Marshall’s Hierarchy. We teach that the two evaluation tools 
are separate and should not be confused. As I said, we have never had any 
students confuse the two because we start by explaining that the Discipline without Stress Hierarchy is quite 
different than letter grades.