I'm glad other points of view are out there (such as Scott Gray's), as to how learning is best encouraged and rewarded.
Getting it right, even if it takes multiple attempts, is better than getting a C with no chance to redo. I share Scott's views in many dimensions ("dimension" is a buzz word around here).
I'm a little sad to see edu domains "polluting" cyber-space with such a stale brand of academic experience.
At least they have some competition from the com and mil sectors, not to mention gov. I hope South Africa doesn't clamp down on companies with more imagination.
Sometimes I say "I need to do some grading" but what I'm doing is providing a gradient, some steepness. Powering up a gradient is a way to build strength. Think of a gym.
So I use the term loosely. I haven't handed out a letter grade in three years. Learning works better this way.
On the more positive side, I like what Michigan is doing to redesign high school to make it more of a blend of on-line and off-line work-study in a more office-like setting. Nexus Academy is the trailblazer here.
Michigan still uses letter grades though.