Ever since 1785, schools have used the traditional grading scale of A through F/E to determine the success of students. However, is this method beneficial for anyone? I am a firm believer that grades should not determine a students success level.

Every student knows the disappointing feeling of getting that awful grade even though they had studied. I have had my fair share of dreadful grades. I remember how discouraged and angry I would be. My perfectionist character could not stand the thought of getting an A- much less a B.

While grades are a great way to monitor a student’s progress in a class, it is not the most effective way to encourage people to learn. Letter grades allow students to focus too little on the actual material that is taught. They can also become discouraged in a subject when they receive a bad grade. The traditional method of grading promotes competition between students when they compare one another’s grades which can lead to cheating in extreme cases. Not only that, but the constant mandatory need to keep grades up makes school feel like a chore thus decreasing the interest in learning.

On the other hand, the grading system provides students with a responsibility and forces them to want to do well in school for ensured success. Grading also separates those who are committed versus the students who do not show motivation for education.

There is no doubt that our traditional method of measuring knowledge serves a purpose. But can there be a better system that can get students motivated again?

A possible solution to eliminating the traditional method of grading is Montessori. The Montessori Method is a child-centered educational approach that focuses on teaching the students through individual help rather than teaching everyone one certain method.

The old system has served its purpose. However, it is time for change. Instead of letting students fail at certain subjects because of their grades, they should be given a chance to succeed. Not everyone learns in the same way. Let us bring back the fun in learning by cutting out the thing that discourages us.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Grading: Is it Necessary? by Tala is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

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