The decisions around progression from year to year are made around marks or grades. Where people don’t like marks, they move to a grading system – but it is really between those two – we need some system to sort the wheat from the chaff, to rank and select for the next level, and marks/grades look like the logical way.
What if we did not have marks or grades as the criteria for progression and ability? What if we instead built a system to identify and build key skills in a progressive and personalized manner, moderating instruction on less relevant (to the learner) skills and emphasizing instruction in areas more relevant (interesting, engaging, aptitude based etc). What if we allow children to be assessed on what they naturally are inclined to pursue? What if we build their capability for self-assessment? What if our only focus is on things like learning ability, grit and passion?
Evaluation, more than assessment or testing, will still be equally or more important, but not in the form and manner we use it today, systemically.