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Standards-based grading system full of empty promises

My SideCory Browning

First and foremost, I’d like to express my feelings for the new grading system: I despise it. Whenever I hear the words “standards based,” I cringe with anger and try to shove my irritated emotions down my throat. For two months of internal pain, I’ve had to endure this system of stupidity, and now I’ve had enough. I want some change.The “standards-based” grading system is new to the school district and evaluates students on how well they have met these standards. Grades range from “nonproficient” to “advanced,” and these rankings correspond with number grades, such as “1” (signifying a “nonproficient”) and “4” (representing an “advanced”). To be quite frank, this system doesn’t work. Grades aren’t averaged, and the teacher doesn’t know your exact grade until the end of the quarter. Therefore, in truth, students really don’t know how well they’re doing in class. Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for students: You have the ability to fix your grade when you receive your report card in the mail. Unfortunately, you only get four weeks to make it up (most students will definitely take advantage of this). When I finally got my report card, two weeks had already passed, and my remaining two weeks were actually only six days. To be honest, I felt that I didn’t have enough time to correct any of my assignments.As far as I’m concerned, the new “standards-based” grading system is exactly like the stereotypical politician: He or she makes a large number of promises, but they don’t manage to fulfill any of them. I feel sluggish, inferior, and unenthusiastic now that Mr. Standards Based was inducted into office. Don’t mistake my disdain for pure hatred, though; I just wanted a student perspective to be released out into the open. The teachers are wonderful and their excellent teaching skills have taught me a great deal over my career in high school. However, my grades have been gradually slipping, and I’ve found myself falling behind, which is ironic, given that this system is based around the No Child Left Behind Act. To make matters worse, since the standards based change, the primary thing I’ve learned this year is how to appreciate my precious weekends even more than I did in the past. I want some more organization within this new system or at least a little bit of change. Thanks for listening.Cory Browning of Carbondale is a junior at a local high school.


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