Lose the letter grade

Throughout a student’s high school career they will receive a letter grade based on their work in each class. Under all standards it has been made that, that grade letter determines where we are able to succeed to in our lives.

Is that letter beneficial to students, we think not.  Students choose to use other resources other than the teacher to get the best possible letter grade. Slader, eNotes, ect. are examples of student outlets to getting a good grade without having to put in the effort of absorbing that knowledge they need.

For example, students use Slader for their unfinished math assignment and gain nothing positive from that choice, and because of that students are failing. The information students need to know for future tests is not being absorbed because they would rather get the assignment done then get to know the information necessary.

Students should be graded based on their knowledge and effort put into every class period. If students choose to take the easy way out of homework then that will fall back onto them when a test arrives. Each individual is given plenty of opportunities to learn every subject to the best of their ability, but they choose to take those opportunities for granted.

According to Starr Sackstein, author of “Hacking Assessment”, advises to help this situation we shift to a “no-grades classroom.” As a high school we have lost sight of what is important; the learning. The letter grade is not an accurate representation of the individual’s abilities, and don’t represent the depth of their understanding of the subject.

Sackstein believes introducing a growth mindset will help students become successful learners who will not define themselves by the letters they are given, but with what they have learned.  When students are given a certain letter for example a “C” they consider themselves “C-students.” Teachers need to make it clear that no student is better than the next, because that is exactly what students believe when they have a lower letter grade than their peers.

A efficient action would be for teachers to remind students about their grade-less system and clearly review and clarify the learning standards.