At the moment I'm hopeful.
I've been partaking in a discussion in an online forum on the importance of grades (at school, university, etc.). My knee jerk reaction to grades is annoyance. So much emphasis is put on grades, especially in highschool. Get good grades, go to a good school, be successful, be happy. We all know there is more to life than this. Yes, the emphasis on grades can be a downer. We can pick apart the system and point out its flaws - grades are not necessarily an accurate indicator of future merit or intelligence. There are plenty of examples of people who got good grades simply because they test well and then can't do anything, or those who test poorly and go on to do some amazing things.
So, if they're not a good indicator, why not get rid of them? Well, used in conjunction with other things, they can be helpful. As I said, my initial response is disdain for grades - on the surface, those who make important decision in a person's life (school admissions staff, potential employers, etc.) seem to take too much stock in what grades a person got. I don't think that's really the case though and I'm hopeful because I think those with any real sense weigh things up correctly. Unfortunately for all of us, people with sense aren't always the ones make important decisions.
Because of this, we have a few options. One option is to complain about the system, decide it's fucked up and have disdain for society. The next option is to subscribe to the status quo without question. The third is to use the system to your advantage and maybe make some positive change.