Friday, October 25, 2013


Recently in my Rogate class we have been talking about grades.  For me grades try to help me set goals for myself, for example this year I set a goal to maintain an A average in all my classes.  By setting this goal I'm telling myself to "do good" in class and "try my hardest".  These strategies actually do seem to work for me, although they don't for everyone.  For some people a grade is just simply a letter in the alphabet that their parents stress to them about.

I believe the purpose of grades is like a checkpoint to show where you are and what you can understand.  Schools use them so that they can see what teachers need to teach for longer periods of time and more thoroughly.  I personally think that the point of grades is to reflect more on the teacher rather than the student.  I honestly hate the point of grades now in days, and think that they are pointless; all they do is stress kids out and most of the time don't even reflect the child accurately.  If they spread out the different grades into different categories it would help show you.

My opinion of the current grade system, easy, I hate it.  Absolutely hate it.  Instead of showing you which skills you need to study and improve on they just give you a grade out of 100%.  Apparently it makes it easy to understand how you are doing in that class, when really it could mean the exact opposite.  Instead of your teachers giving you a grade out of 100% or an A, B, C, D, or F, they should tell you which skills you have mastered and which you need to improve on.  This way you can study what you really need to learn instead of a whole bunch of information that you already know.  This is basically a shortcut for the teachers.

This current grading system helps us by looking at a simple number and knowing which classes I need to improve on, however isn't always accurate.  One reason I say this is because ONE day in history I forgot to complete the back of homework and my teacher gave me a zero.  But the thing is, I could have easily completed the assignment in 5-10 minutes but because I forgot to do it i was only awarded 1/2 credit, which brought my grade down 1-2 whole points.  Although, I do know teachers who offer extra credit, last year in my chorus class at one point I had a 89 so I brought in a box of paper cups and my teacher bumped my grade up two points just for that.  Taking off or adding points doesn't show you what the student understands or doesn't at all.

You see, some kids actually do care about grades, like me.  Others, not so much.  I put so much effort into all of my work to get what, a 90% because i misspelled a couple words and misused different types of punctuation.  I think that we should transfer to the standards based grading system.  I say this because this way it will show us what we don't quite understand and what skills we have accomplished.  We will be able to finally not have a 92% in Algebra, but a 4 in how you solve linear equations and a 3 on order of operations and parentheses.  Grades are such an important part in many peoples lives, why not make it more fair?

1 comment:

  1. A box of paper cups? That makes me sad! Your very last sentence was really powerful, Karissa. I am glad that you are questioning the validity of our current system.