Viewpoints

Schools Need the Grading System

From the beginning of schools until now, grades have been an important part of a student’s academic careers. The whole reason school exists in the first place is to receive an education and send each generation off into the workforce with as much knowledge as possible. So why were grades invented? The truth is grades were invented as a way to have students learn faster and more material in a shorter time. If students wanted to receive a good grade and do well, they needed to study and do their homework, allowing the curriculum to technically move faster. 

As time has gone on there have been lots of issues linked with school grades and mental health. Students feel the need to get a certain grade in order to feel accomplished. Others feel the competition between peers becomes unbearable. So what is the other way people want school to happen? This system has been embedded in the world for so long, that it seems almost impossible to abolish it completely for many reasons. One being that since we have done it for so long, there seems to be no other way to go along the system. The students who work the hardest get the best grades and then go off to the most competitive colleges. How would this be done without grades? While I have to say on behalf of myself and many others, I know hard work doesn’t always correlate to good grades. Some students are naturally intelligent and don’t have to work hard, others stay up all night and still struggle profusely on the test the next day. But at the end of the day, this system has created a reason for students to try, and care about their learning. It’s what keeps many motivated to do better, study and ultimately understand the material so they can be successful.

Another reason individuals should not abolish grades is because of the emptiness students would feel without them. One of the most positive things about the grading system is that it’s so familiar to us. Students use grades to guide them throughout school and get a better understanding of how they are doing. Students mostly work hard to get good grades, not always to learn. While this isn’t the best, it’s the truth. It’s the biggest motivation that gets students to work harder and understand the material. Grades are not only important to us in high school, but are necessary for college, politicians, job makers and more. The grading system provides an easy way for people to understand a person’s academic ability and knowledge. And yes, grades can be harmful for people when applying and getting a job, but there is no other way to re-create a new system that creates the levels of academics like the grading system does.

Grades simply do not need to be thrown away in order to make improvements in school. It is for sure not a perfect system that does set kids up to be stressed out, but there has to be more ways to help students get better grades or give students more chances that do not ruin their GPAs. Countries like Finland seem to have implemented the grading system very differently from the U.S., and they have the most effective system that is known to cause less stress for their students. This includes ideas like not having grades until the end of middle school, or having no standardized tests. There are ways to make education more personalized for each student, but still have a general grading system, which would ultimately be the most beneficial. 

The grading system is necessary to the American school system, and if abolished, would create a big issue on how to get students to work hard without the satisfying end of getting a good grade. While there should be some modifications made, the system being abolished would truly harm schools and students greatly.

About the author

Jenna Kamin

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