Essay Example on Alternative Grading in K12 Education

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It's graduation time hopes are high and the energy is empowering but this won't last long What many students may not be aware of is that in a relatively short amount of time they will be on their own and even worse than this most of them won t be prepared According to a Washington Post article in 2011 two fifths of highschool graduates are not prepared for college or the workforce This is huge problem and while some would blame it on the students with a percentage this high there must be some other explanation In the current system students are afraid They may not show it openly but the fear is there What is this fear one may ask The youth in highschool are afraid of being wrong they are afraid that if they mess up on an assignment or test it will haunt them for the rest of their lives Of course what's the problem with this system it gets students to do their work right Yes but there s the root of the problem students are gaining their motivation from fear of penalty rather than a love of learning In the status quo high schools are teaching students that if they mess up it is all over there is no redemption

This is incredibly detrimental to these kids futures According to Georgetown University around 96 of jobs require critical thinking and active listening to be either very important or extremely important to success With a system that for the most part only provides one solution discourages risks how are we supposed to promote critical thinking and active listening especially when students don't care what's being taught There needs to be a system which instills a love of learning and teaches the next generation that mistakes aren t inherently bad and that we can improve and retry This is why due to the high percentage of students who are fearful for the welfare of an arbitrary grade the United States education system ought to move towards a non penalizing grading system Replacing the Status Quo To put it simply the current grading system is flawed There needs to be a change but what should this change include To start off the problems of the current system must be addressed The purpose of any grading system is to inform both the students and their parents as to the state of their learning The problem is that a letter symbol is extremely underrepresentation of a student's level of learning Heick and It doesn't explain how well a student understands the material or any external circumstances Grading does not promote learning or retention it is mere ranking Elbow defines this as summing up one s judgment into a single holistic number or score Potts 2010 A student may know next to nothing on a particular subject but if they are good at short term memorization or test taking they will achieve the A This ranking does not promote helpful citizens rather it will push people towards pride and selfishness neither of which are wanted in society There needs to be a new system which encourages learning rather than cramming A system where students are willing to take risks and make mistakes because they know they will be able to reevaluate and rework their assignment 



The Plan In order to save the education system a new way to grade must be implemented This system will include the allowance of assignment revisions to promote actual learning Students will be able to explain what didn't go right the first time such as misunderstanding the material or personal dilemmas stunting their ability to perform And finally zeros will be replaced with incompletes This will Benefits of a New System Learning Levels will Increase With the current system students are often discouraged from doing something different While there is some benefit this method is not conducive to preparing students for real life As well students don t have the right motivation for working hard in school They do it out of fear rather than out of a desire to learn By implementing a system where students are given the option to rework an assignment they will be able to figure out what was done wrong and learn from their mistakes This learning from mistakes also helps prepare students for their after school life In the real world success only comes after reworking many mistakes Professionals actually flourish through redos retakes and do overs Surgeons practice on cadavers before doing surgeries on live patients Architects redesign building plans until they meet all the specifications listed Wormeli 2011 If people are forbidden from correcting mistakes how are they ever going to improve and progress This is a huge benefit that would be gained if the grading system were improved



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