Do You Have a Problem with the Grading System?

Victoria Mora, Staff Writer

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The grading system in America is flawed and overall can be better. In America the grading system is designed to make people fail in a lot of ways because most of the grading system has most of the percentages in the failure zone. That’s not the only problem with it though; there’s also the fact that teachers often grade on compliance and not on what the student actually does or knows.  Instead of letting kids fail and learn at their own pace, you only get one shot to do something. Some teachers claim that the quizzes give you trials before the test, but with quizzes you only learn little bits of it, and then you don’t get to really try again. Tests don’t give a sense of what you can actually do either because some students do better without a test. Some don’t do well with multiple choice or the way it’s worded or get anxiety when doing the test, which means they aren’t producing their best or actually showing what they know.

 Another thing that is wrong with the grading system is that its not standardized or really any guidelines for it. But this could also be a good thing depending on the class, the teacher, and what the students are learning. In some classes, the teachers rely more on projects and think that “grading should be tied to things that you are doing,” said Doherty teacher Ms. Owens. In Doherty each department is different, and “Science doesn’t round up for most part. Biology has a grading system by having a scale, but chemistry doesn’t so it’s mostly teacher by teacher,” said Ms. Carolyn Butts.

In the English department Mr. Hawthorne said, “I use a system of checks because there’s not much gray area and shows skill. It also lets them [students] check it but I stay away from grading system because it’s ridiculous. Work on the skills around it instead of just giving it to them but I let them work for it. The traditional grading system isn’t efficient. I give them what they deserve.”

In the SPED department it has to be even more different because, “When your’e going based on each kid having a different skill level, you don’t hold them at the same level but instead engagement. I’ve struggled with grading a lot. If they are always going to be going for that level they will fail,” said Ms. Sarah Ortiz. Meanwhile, other classes are free to have it where it’s based on just assignments that aren’t completely related to the class or help the students learn the material. It could be just on compliance instead of the student. The teacher could control the students grade in a sense where the teacher could threaten and the student fail just because of one assignment instead of learning.

    The grading system is also set up that way students are college ready instead of other things they might want to be. College isn’t a path everyone can or wants to take but the grading system is set up where it still makes every student ready or they fail. The colleges get to see the “best” students with the best grades but does it really show everyone’s potential? Not only that but not everyone will go to college. Instead some will want to do trades like electrician, plumer, or mechanic. Other will just wish to go to the military or work or whatever else there is but the grading system doesn’t show this or really help with certain life paths. Instead it just shows a certain level which might not even be accurate for the person.

    The grading system isn’t specialized and tries to put everyone on the same level. This isn’t fair to anyone because no one is the same. Everyone does work differently and has different ways of learning. Plus some people have anxiety and depression and this could make them preform not as good. Someone with anxiety might not do as well at test or projects because of their anxiety but could do better at working on their own. Also some are not as good at group projects and some people work better with people. Everyone has different ways of learning and the grading system treats everyone the same. This isn’t right and should be changed.

    There should still be some way of measuring students skills and seeing how they learn but the modern grading system isn’t the way. Instead is should be better on seeing the students learning skills and what they can do instead of the teachers way making it compliance. It should be more focused on the students and how to show them at their best instead of being set up for failure.