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Do Grades Really Matter?

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Parents check in during parent teacher conferences on September 28, 2017.

Parents check in during parent teacher conferences on September 28, 2017.

Reece Boland

Reece Boland

Parents check in during parent teacher conferences on September 28, 2017.

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Living as a quote-on-quote “model student” for the majority of my educational experience, getting a big fat F in my grade book is something I just wouldn’t do. In the first time in my high school career, I found one – sitting mockingly in my Skyward account. After that crucial moment in my life, all I could think about was my “failure”. How could I ever get my GPA back up? What would my mom say? Would she be disappointed? These thoughts were on replay in my head for quite a while. But one thought that sat in the back of my mind was if getting an F in a class really meant that I was a failure. So, I went to my fellow peers and teachers to get a glimpse of their perspectives on grades and if they believe grades really matter.

I decided to go to the students first and see what they had to say about the subject.

Grades help provide students guidance Senior Gabby Oquist said.  “I don’t think they necessarily judge your intelligence. People are just too hard on themselves. They do help set goals though,” Oquist said.

Other students had more harsh opinions on the subject.

“I don’t agree with the fact that they determine our whole future. There are more things about our self that could determine what we do rather than what we get on a test or an essay or something like that,” senior Jessica Hass stated.

The teachers took various approaches to tackling the controversy over grades. Art teacher and football coach Jimmy Goheen feels that grades are currently still needed because that is the system we have in place.

“I think they matter differently for different classes. From a students perspective it varies based on their background,” Mr. Goheen said. “If you were raised in a home that puts values on grades, you’re more likely to be about that. But I also understand that people see things differently.”

Goheen goes on to say that, “School is a game. It’s a matter of how to play that game right. Every teacher’s game is a bit different.”

After hearing that, I realized the education system is just a big round of Monopoly. The question is: Should we still play this game?

JCHS’s own Media and Public Relations teacher Mr. Walter is a firm believer that the game of grades needs to be changed.

“The world of education has innovated in almost all aspects besides grades. The grading scale of A, B, C, and D, has been around for the last 100 years,” Walter said.  “I think that we need to be focused on building portfolios, projects, and ways that we can actually demonstrate the skills we have learned through high school because all of those grades are subjective. Is the A at JCHS the same A in a private high school in California?”

Walter goes on to say that, “Additionally, because we haven’t had any innovation in the way that we assess students we have all been trained to focus more on what we need to do to obtain a grade rather than focus on what is being learned from this.”

Teachers and students alike realize the advantages and disadvantages of the grading system. It’s come to my understanding that the students believe grades dictate their educational life in more negative ways than positive. Some teachers accept the grading system for how it is and others believe it to be outdated and irrelevant to the student’s intelligence.

The grade debate is a subject that everyone perceives differently. So, do grades actually matter? That’s for you to decide.

 

 

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The student news site of Junction City High School.
Do Grades Really Matter?