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In traditional grading, letter grades report thenumber of point earned in a subject but not
about what students have learned. Getting rid of traditionalgrading should be replace with a
standard base grading where student's content knowledge shouldinstead be considered. Does
grade diminish students' interest or eliminate the opportunity forself evaluations? Should
students have a variety ways to show what they know and learned, aswell as a chance to relearn
lessons? The answers should be resounding yes. Conversely, theobjective of learning is
compromised. For instance, traditional grading has manydisadvantages; however, there are
various alternatives method that can take students' knowledge intoaccount.
According to Stephen Covey, “many students procrastinate and thensuccessfully cram
for tests—they might cram to get the grades and degrees they needto get good or better jobs,
even if they fail to get a good general education” (Corey, 2010).This statement speaks about the
separation that exists within our society when it comes to gradesand content knowledge. For
instance, if good grades are achieved, one can simply assume that agood education has been
given and important knowledge has been learned. Regrettably, thisdoes not always happen. In
fact, it is very unlikely. In reality, grades are usually based oninformation which has nothing to
do with standard knowledge or knowledge to be acquired. However, itis just a way to stamp the
students with numbers; where the ones with the higher numbers getto move on academically,Simon2
while the ones with lower numbers are being put on academicprobation or even kicked out of
school. As far as one can see the correlation with traditionalgrading to be “sort of” Charles
Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory, which states that “theones that are the most fit for the
environment survives”. This method is problematic in our societybecause it discriminates or
marginalizes against those that are not good test-takers or unableto meet the traditional grading
threshold.
Some may say that the effect of traditional grading on students arewidespread and
students who perform well in school may tend to view assessmentsand grading evidence of
their success. In contrast, not all students are a good test takerbecause the other who do poorly in
school or received a lower grade view assessment as evidence oftheir failures. However,
traditional grade should change because not all students accept thetraditional grade as new
challenges; instead these students feel hopeless and seek theeasiest option like giving up or fail
into a negative cycle.
Another disadvantage of traditional grading it that that studentsbecome discouraged after
they receive a poor grade or when they get to the point where theydo not believe they can
receive a passing grade. As a result, they develop low self-esteemsand at times become very
depressed. Additionally, some students have complained that thetraditional grading system or
the way in which it is done have not been a positive experience forthem. Furthermore, there are
times when the students really know the materials, but due to lackof test-taking skills perform
poorly in the class. Currently, “most current grading practices aregrounded in tradition, rather
than research on best practice. Teachers continue to average scoresto calculate grades; combine
indicators of achievement, behavior, and progress into a singlegrade; and grade on the curve,Simon3
despite evidence showing the detrimental consequences of thesepractices” (Jung & Gusky,
2011). In other words, the traditional grading hinders students’learning and therefore suppresses
them to move on academically.
Next, Grade is one of the most common cause of cheating in school.It can be the
difference between multiple things getting into college or thepressure from parents about getting
a good grade cause student to cheat. If the sole reason forengaging in an academic task is to get
a good grade, then it is probably easy for students to justify theact of cheating.To alleviate this
growing problem, the ministry of education or teacher shoulddeveloped several propositions to
help grades become a more accurate reflection of students’knowledge and suppose, will not only
help improve the relevant of students’ grades, but also theirattitudes towards grades and their
ability to do well in their course.
Away from students’ attitude, grades help determine students’ livesafter high school. In
addition, colleges often look at GPA, grades, and high-stakes testscores in an effort to find
higher students will be successful on their institution.Unfortunately, many schools discovered
that the grades students earn in their courses often are not goodpredictors of how well they will
perform on those exams. This dissimilarity reveals a hidden truththat grades have not been
reliable indicators of what students know or able to do. Byexample, when parents taught
children to talk and count; the did not receive a grade.The did itbecause is was a mirth and if
they failed to pronounce words however, parents keep working withthe children until they
learned it the proper way.
If colleges are depending on grades and GPA to determine who getsaccepted to their
school. In fact reliable data should be provided on the students sothe school can make informSimon4
decision to whom they allow on their campuses. In firstproposition, teachers should accept late
work from students and give them descriptive written and verbalfeedback on their assignments.
In other words, several arrangement must be made for the studentsconsidering the many
different learning methods that are available.The feedback beinggiven to students have been
more evaluate in the traditional system than it is descriptive.Accepting late work is a step in the
right direction as evidenced because giving a student zeros are notgood motivation for students.
Feedback, accepting late work, giving purposeful work, and thepercentage of a failing grade are
all aspects which should be most likely to improve in propositionin an effort to give students
more accurate grades.
The current grading system is due for a major change. Considerablytoo often it forces
teachers to take into account factors other than the student’sknowledge when assigning grades.
In the article written by Jeanetta Jones Miller (2014), entitled“What the Researchers Say about
Grades”, states “the difference between failure and the honor rolloften depends on the grading
policies of the teacher. In order to reduce the failure rate,schools do not need a new curriculum,
a new principal, new teachers, or even new technology. They justneed a better grading system.”
With the traditional grading system, however, students can earn apassing grade simply by
turning in work.
Another proposition is to implement a Standards-based grading whichis more accurate
than grades that are based on traditional grading systems thatincorporate a mixture of academic
performance, extra credit, behavior, and work habits,” (Proulx,Spencer, & Westerberg, 2012).
Standards-based grading is a better way to show what standardsstudents have been able to
master over the course of the school year. In addition, manyresearchers believe standards-basedSimon5
grading is fairer for students' report cards because achievement ismore accurately represented in
relation to learning expectations or standards.Grades shouldaccurately portray the students’
learning in their classrooms. Nevertheless, there is no consistentset of criteria to base grades.
This means the interpretation of grades can vary from one person tothe next and takes away the
credibility of grades.
Student’s grade should, ideally, represent how well they know thematerial; it should not
reflect behavior in class or many other non-academic basedcriteria. This should be the base of
how teachers grade so all interpretations, no matter who is lookingat them, can begin with the
same understanding. However, concerning grading practices showsthat it is greater than
expected number of factors that are used in determining studentgrades. “While traditional tests
and quizzes are almost always considered, other factors includeevaluations of class
participation, homework, projects, answer question asked byprofessor, notebook reviews, labs
and lab reports, effort, neatness, behavior and attendance, as wellas a teacher's personal
assessment of a student's traits and personal characteristics”(Corey 2010). It is difficult to
distinguish what qualifies as academic and what qualifies asbehavioral. However, most teachers
will not be able to agree 100% on where these actions belong and ifstudents should be graded on
these actions or not.
If a grade reflects what students have learned, we must notpenalize students' grades over
behavioral issues,” Teachers need to focus on what the students arelearning, not outside
influences. “…traditional end-of-course grades are the finalproducts of many factors, including
quizzes, homework, behavior, and attendance, with standards basedgrading nothing but mastery
matters. Standards-based grades account for non academic elementsvery minimally or not atSimon6
all,” (Spencer, 2012) which helps the grade reflect actual studentlearning. When grading
systems differentiate between practice and mastery, students havemore incentive to master the
skills necessary because there is nothing there to cushion theirgrade. This motivates students to
move from easy concepts to more difficult concepts and rewards them“for ultimately obtaining
knowledge, no matter how long” it takes, (Spencer, 2012)
In addition, some might argue about how to evaluate other areas ofschool such as
homework and other nonacademic standard. Homework assignment needsto be thoughtful and
productive, not busywork. Furthermore, if the purpose of homeworkis to give students extra
practice, it is important to remember that not all students learnthe same way. Professor or
teacher should differently their teaching; so it makes sense thento offer a variety of homework
assignments as well. Traditionally, “homework grades do notaccurately express student
understanding,” (Spencer, 2012). Homework does not necessarily meanthat it needs to be graded
along with behavior, attendance, notebooks, and group work.Assigning homework can be
important as long as it helps to improve the students’ learning,but it does not necessarily need a
grade. A zero in the grade book can take a student’s grade downsignificantly. A zero is “seldom
an accurate description of a student's achievement and skew averagegrades dramatically.” Many
teachers claim to use zeros as a way to motivate students when, infact, “research indicates the
opposite. however, most students are discouraged by zeros and tendto give up. More students to
become discouraged and give up once a zero or a lower grade isentered as their grade for the
assignment.
Contrary to many opinion, traditional grading has adverseconsequences on students
motivation. Some students get motivated to do some tasks for theinherent enjoyment whileSimon7
others may have the motivation to do some assignments because ofthe result outcome or they
do not have any other choices to prove their content ofknowledge.
There is no advantage to using zeros for grading. A zero in thegrade book discourages students
from trying to master needed skills and does not accurately measuretheir knowledge. Low
scores often have a similar effect as a zero for students. They seetoo many low grades on
assignments, and they begin to find themselves less motivated andless likely to continue trying
their best. Many argue that grades should be indicators of academysuccess ; although, grades do
not reveal what a student know or student’s knowledge according toERIC (U.S. Dept. of
Education) journal.
For instance low grades marks as punishments. Instead of promptinggreater effort, low
grades more often cause students to withdraw from learning orclasses. Students should be given
an opportunity to relearn and redo an assignment they earned a lowscore on. This shows that the
student has not mastered an important skill they are expected tolearn. Several zeros or low
scores often result in a failing grade. In a typical grading scale,90-100 would equal an “A”
grade; this is a range of ten points. An “F” could be anywhere from0 points to 59 points; giving
a 59 point spread compared to ten. In other words, “while theintervals representing most grades
are typically 10 points or less, the interval for an "F" istypically 60 points or more,” (Carey &
2010).To conclude ,for the benefit of students, teacher and inbetter learning for the society;
those reasons prove that students knowledge should take intoaccount first not the letter grading
In proposition, the traditional grading system needs to bereconsidered and it needs to change.

Work Cited
Carey, T., & Carifio, J. (2010). A Critical Examination ofCurrent Minimum Grading Policy
Dinnen, J., & Collopy, R. (2009). An analysis of feedback givento strong and weak
student writers. Reading Horizons, 49, pp. 239-256.
Darwin & the banking industry. (Charles Darwin'ssurvival-of-the-fittest theory) (The
Banking Industry) July, 1991, Vol.80(7), p.10(5)
Guskey, T. (2000). Grading policies that work againststandards...and how to fix them.
National Proulx, C., Spencer-May, K., & Westerberg, T. (2012).Moving to Standards-Based
Grading.
Tierney, R., Simon, M., & Charland, J. (2011). Being fair:Teachers' interpretations of
principles for standards-based grading. The Educational Forum,75(3), pp. 210-227.
ERIC (U.S. Dept. of Education) Elementary School Journal, 2011,Vol.112(1), p.61-82

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Irving Heathcote
Irving HeathcoteLv2
28 Sep 2019

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