The educability of personal qualities has garnered attention for its potential to raise student achievement. This investigation asks how one such quality—grit—has become a commonsensical way to think about differences among students. As a history of the present, grit is approached as a cultural thesis that links individualism to narratives of American exceptionalism and historical progress. This thesis is embodied in contemporary school reforms to “get gritty” in order to close achievement gaps. A danger of these reforms is how pedagogies of grit generate classificatory regimes that divide people by the display of particular attitudes and behaviors. As grit travels globally, it decontextualizes social and economic inequalities, and explains them as owing to the intrinsic qualities of people.