Essay on Saying Goodbye to Letter Grades
For many years, our grading system has been based on letters and numbers, A’s being excellent, and B’s being good – or that’s at least how the educational systems views it. For the past few years, we have seen the effect that grades have on students.
Sometimes, just gettingB’s and C’s can cause students to lose their motivation towards learning. This can usually lead to constant stress and depression from constant worrying of their grades. Isuggest that we abolish the grading system and replace them with detailed teacher comments and a “pass” or “fail” score on it. I strongly suggest that we should do this is because it can reduce stress of the students, and helps students feel more motivated towards school. One of the reasons why we should replace the grading system because students, including myself, know that grades have a tendency of causing stress since they have to be perfect most of the time, and stress can lead to other bad side effects too. A article from Stanford University states how the majority of students in a computer science class are so stressed out and pressured by their parents and school to get high grades, they would find any way to cheat, like plagiarising.
I feel like this proves how grades not only cause stress, but are also making it hard for them not to cheat. It’s not because cheating is a side effect of stress, it’s the stress and pressure from the parents and school that causes students to cheat to achieve their perfect grade, and this is only one out of the many subjects that they have, imagine the stress they have in other subjects, which for me would be Math and Science. This can lead to stress building up. I mean, unsatisfactory grades are a stab in the chest. Surely many students out there can agree with me and support this decision.
Another reason why changing the grade system is a good idea is because I believe it can help students feel more motivated and happier at school. To elaborate on this more, Neatoday.org shows that ” The research quite clearly shows that kids who are graded – and have been encouraged to try to improve their grades – tend to lose interest in the learning itself, avoid challenging tasks whenever possible (in order to maximize the chance of getting an A), and think less deeply than kids who aren’t graded.”I think what this is trying to say isthat grades are actually causing students to become less creative in many ways, and makes them feel like they need to get the perfect grade every time, like in this case, they usually try to find the easiest way to achieve a good grade. This can easily cause them to lose interest in school since the only reason they even bother to show up at school is just to be there, instead of showing up to learn and be challenged.
Some may argue that letter grades do actually benefit the student and parents, for example states that letter grades are already such an excellent system already, so there is no point in changing it now. Although this might look true, like stated before,Neatoday says that students who are graded tend to lose intrest in learning itself, and think less deeply than others who are not graded , and also, Neatoday also states that,a survey conducted in Kentucky showed that parents preferred having comments about their child and how they are performing in class rather than just having a long list of grades. Overall, while letter grades may seem like they are beneficial and useful, we can clearly see that the reasons to change the grading system outweigh the reasons not to. Even though doing so may seem like we are taking a step back, but really, it’s just looking at the grading system in a new perspective. If we were really taking a step back, it would be something like completely removing the grading system – which in this case, is not. Some possible solutions could be to replace grades with detailed comments instead of grades , or replace grades with pass or fail, many different things to choose from.
I feel like that many parents would appreciate this switch since it will can help reduce our stress in school.