Cons of grades

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Cons of grades

Hope Davidson, Reporter

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School: the word carries a negative connotation. With it comes a handful of memories including sleepless nights due to excessive amounts of homework and stressful days worrying about whether or not you’ll get an A on the upcoming test. School was intended to benefit society by educating its citizens, but the education system, specifically grades, has stripped education of its beauty.

The natural inclination of humans is to want to learn about the world, but the grading system takes away the love for learning and reverses the purpose of school. The way the learning system is structured, students study material to do well on a test and get a good grade, not just for the sole purpose of learning new information. Oftentimes after the test, students forget what they were taught because they only needed to know it for that assessment.

Letter grades have transformed school from a place of learning into a competition. Colleges and other higher education establishments often tend to prefer and accept people with higher grades, creating a competitive spirit in schools to win a spot at a college. Students’ focus is shifted to getting good grades rather than actually learning the material. Higher education is essential for many jobs, so why should it be harder for some students to get accepted into these establishments based on their grades? Because higher education is essential to a majority of students, it should be easily accessible to all students, not based on grades.

By basing a student’s level of intelligence off a grade, it unnecessarily ranks the students in a class. The letter grade system forces society into viewing those with an A as “intelligent” and those with a C or lower as “dumb.” Those students with lower grades may feel as if they are not as smart as their peers, and those with higher grades may have a sense that they are better than students with grades lower than their own.

Grades supposedly reflect a student’s intelligence in a certain subject, but are they accurate? Students learn in different ways but all of them are taught and tested in the same way. The school system is tailored to one type of learner and that type of learner typically receives higher grades. Those who learn in a different way than is taught will not learn the material as well, and therefore will receive a lower grade. Grades reflect how well the school system is suited for a student, not how smart they are.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

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