This same opportunity exists for K12 teachers.
And I wonder: if a famous teacher recommended you to another teacher or to a university, would you still need a transcript? Would that vouching potentially carry more authority than a percentage or letter grade?
I often wonder if radical transparency (through social media) might obviate completely the need for grading. If you can see all my teaching and, more importantly, see how all my students perform then you would know what my recommendation was worth. If I say to you that Sally is ready for your math class, no more needs saying as your classes and students’ work are also transparent to me; I know what will be expected of Sally and can judge the moment when she can move up.
Perhaps I can even recommend her to one particular teacher over another because I know the kind of teacher–not merely the kind of content–she needs next. That’s a novel idea–match the student to the teacher! That has to be at least as important as matching the student to the curricula, which is what we do when we group students by age and grade: we say in Grade 4 you can study pioneers, for example. In doing so we have assumed that, from the student’s point of view, one teacher is as good as the next. That leaves us with the unpleasant admission that we see all students are standardized as well. I get that this was once an administrative necessity, but maybe we are close to a time when we can leave that necessity behind.