The Controversial Grading Policy and Its Negative Effect on Students

At the beginning of the second semester, a schoolwide grading policy was implemented that would ultimately give students a 50% on missing assignments, rather than a 0%.

Changing the grading scale brings controversy and mixed opinions upon everyone. It also teaches students bad habits such as a lack of work ethic.

Gunderson’s new school-wide grading policy from 0% on a missing assignment to 50% as the lowest grade, isn’t beneficial for students because it allows them to do minimal work and still pass the class without mastering any skills.

Students may feel as if they can miss an assignment or two and it won’t affect their grade much at all. Previously, a 0% would take a huge hit on a student’s overall semester grade.

This creates a lack of work ethic to become a better student and get work in when it’s due. Creating bad habits in school is one of the last things students should want to do, and giving them a chance to slack off and not do their work isn’t helping them out at all.

It may help their grade more than a 0% would, but giving a student credit for something that they didn’t even attempt isn’t the right way of trying to help kids pass.

Teachers and staff should be preaching hard work and motivating students to get their work done on time rather than taking the 50% and moving on.

Regarding the grade policy change for the second semester, Principle Kevin Wan said, “The drawback from it would be if it’s poorly communicated that students might feel that they don’t need to put in the same effort or more effort in order to pass the class.” This is concerning to us that other students may not want to put in any effort realizing that they can pass easier.

We realize how many students struggle with grades and how stressful this school year has been, but if anything, it’s allowing students to not try at all, and just easily pass classes not gaining any knowledge.

History Teacher Mrs. Weathers said, “We had so many students who wouldn’t have passed their classes without some sort of intervention or policy change at Gunderson High School as a whole, and Gunderson students would have suffered the consequences.”

We feel like they should try regardless of the grade policy change. It doesn’t hurt to try in school, especially for the people who don’t try better for themselves.

A better alternative would be offering more extra credit, giving students the opportunity to improve their grade, rather than changing up the grading policy and making it easier for students not willing to try in school to get better grades.

“The number of students that had one or more F’s between PR 2 to Semester 1 dropped by 48%.”, Principle Kevin Wan said. Implementing this new grade policy would allow students to pass without trying in their education.

Changing how our school grades assignments in the middle of a school year is very problematic especially since we can’t change our schedule between semesters. “They should’ve started this at the beginning of the year,” Senior Jada Nguyen said.

With all of the issues, this new grading policy has, switching the policy mid-year has left students confused and upset about their class choices.

If our grading policy changed now, then what stops it from changing again next semester? The school continues to change the grading policy, which makes it difficult for students to understand the grading system in each class. And now the school is changing it between semesters?

Within the short amount of time that this new system has been implemented, students have already found ways to abuse the system by not turning in homework and classwork. With their inconsistent working habits, students are able to pass the class easier than before, compared to other students that attend class every day and complete the work.

This made many students, including ourselves, infuriated that students that don’t engage and try in class get similar results to hard workers. Grades are supposed to reflect on the work you’ve done in class but with this new system installed, it goes against that.

This alternative system doesn’t teach students about responsibility and that their actions have consequences. In the real world, the students that benefited in the short run will have trouble grasping reality in the long term because of this sugarcoated system.

This new grading system has presented lots of problems, and have far outweighed the pros. Changing missing assignments from 0% to 50% in the middle of the year not only confuses and changes a student’s mindset mid-year, but it allows them to slack off and achieve a similar level of excellence as a student who has been putting in the effort the entire time.