In 1965, when the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) opened its doors, it instituted a "narrative evaluation system" to rate student performance.

35 years later, the faculty senate acquiesced to academic tradition and instituted letter grades. After the senate's decision, however, angry student demonstrators rallied, displaying placards reading: "Grades are a method of sorting vegetables."

UC chancellor Richard Atkinson agreed; such placards, he declared, "neatly sum up the position of both sides."

[The difference between a fruit and a vegetable, according to a US Supreme Court ruling in 1893? Only plants (or parts thereof) eaten during the main course should be considered vegetables.]

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