Letter grading in schools has been put to question ever since it was enforced in 1785. I began my research for the sole purpose of formulating an opinion that is backed up by evidence. I quickly learned that finding credible sources that provided different point of views was not easy. However, after rigorous searching, I not only took a stand on the argument, but I also found out what my paper needs to include.

All schools have the “no students left behind” philosophy. And the main goal for grades is to track the progress of students. However, since it is very rare for all students to get the exact same grades on everything, this makes it difficult to catch up the students who are falling behind on their work. Therefore, the philosophy of education is not met. By this evaluation, I found that my research would be incomplete if I do not take into account the goals of education versus what is accomplished by the use of the traditional letter grading system.

I also have to take into account a solution for my argument after I discuss the rhetorical situation. A friend of mine who attended a Montessori school as a kid said it was a great experience. However, she found it difficult when she transitioned to public schools with grades. But, although it was hard for her at first, statistics show that kids who went to Montessori schools have higher levels of knowledge in both reading and math.

After having that talk with her, I decided to conduct a survey over youth voices early next week. It will be a few yes or no questions that take into account the opinions of students from across the country. However, I am left with one question. What do I want to ask?  The main goal is to have original content that is unbiased. This means I not only have to ask students, but teachers, staff, and parents as well. Only then, could I officially start drawing up conclusions to how we can find a median  to settle this argument over the necessity of grades.

So far, the most challenging part about this type of writing is elaboration. All throughout my years in school, I have been asked to summarize and shorten my writing because whenever I went over a certain amount of pages, I would start to get off topic. I get lost in my own words. Therefore, my ultimate goal for this eight page paper is to keep track of my own thoughts while elaborating on my topic.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Reflective Essay by Tala is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

5 Comments
  1. Manwinder 9 months ago

    Hey Tala,

    Your research topic is very different and unique. In a public school environment grades are so important that it sometimes takes out the true meaning of learning. If a kid doesn’t get a good grade on a test or an assignment it can be very discouraging especially when they have studied so hard. Students may know a topic very well but may not be great test takers. This discourages them and harms their learning experience. I can’t wait to see all the results you get from your survey.

  2. annaohs 9 months ago

    Tala,

    This is a really interesting topic to explore. As someone in high school, the question of grades is always in the air. However, from this, you say you eventually settled on an opinion. I couldn’t quite figure out which side you support. Are you for or against grades? I like how you won’t settle just for student opinions but you’ll also ask teachers and parents. I think that’ll really help your argument.

    • Author
      Tala 9 months ago

      I’m glad you find the topic I am researching to be of interest. As for my opinion on the matter, I have decided to support the elimination of letter grading up until a certain age. It would be ideal to do away with letter grading all together. However, as students move on to higher levels of education with classes of 100 plus students, it would be hard to keep track of their progress without grades.

  3. Raywa 9 months ago

    Dear Tala,

    I am very interested in your topic and research! It has been something I have wondered about as well because I had a Montessori education up until high school. I personally never felt that that my education was hindered in any way because we still learned the same information, just in a different way. I think the focus on learning for the purpose of becoming more knowledgeable and out of curiosity vs. the focus on making good grades was very valuable. I am interested to see what your findings end up being!

  4. Preston 9 months ago

    Tala,

    Your research seems very interesting and calls into a questions that seems so very fundamental to all of us. I think the points you made about the different experiences of Montessori kids could really back up your claims. For the survey, you could ask whether or not students think that the letter based grading system has harmed their learning experience or motivated them to do better.

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