This past summer, our IT department sent a notice to schools that they would be archiving the electronic grade books for the previous school year in order to prepare the system for the fall opening.

But they also said that by law, grade books could only be retained by the district for five years after students graduate and that files for the “for school year 2007 — 2008 and prior years will be destroyed” at the same time.

In other words, records representing twelve years worth of a student’s work, about half of the time they’ve been alive, only has a shelf life of five years.

I wonder, what is the shelf life of the learning reflected in those files?

It should be far longer than five years but I’m betting much of it was forgotten not long after the grades were posted.